Heart disease is the leading cause of death across the globe.
- Heart disease claims over 18 million lives globally each year
- Annually, more people die from heart disease than ALL cancers combined
- In the US, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds
- 70% of heart-related deaths have no antecedents
While daunting, the challenge of heart disease is dwarfed by the human spirit's resourcefulness.
Here's what we're doing to eradicate it from humanity forever:
#1. James Min, MD (renowned cardiology researcher and former Professor of Medicine at Cornell University) has created Cleerly, an AI-powered medical imaging analysis tool designed to aid in the early detection of heart disease.
The company's AI-based coronary CT scan finds heart plaque before it ever causes a heart attack and identifies treatments to reverse your risk of heart attack.
This technology single-handedly transitions us from being reactive to preventive in our approach to heart disease.
Transitions like this allow us to implement lifestyle changes and receive noninvasive treatments that ACTUALLY work.
Dr. Min is convinced that if you detect heart disease early enough, you can prevent it from reaching a fatal stage indefinitely.
#2. Doris Taylor, PhD (biomedical researcher and pioneer in regenerative medicine) is doing groundbreaking work in organ regeneration. She transformed the field of organ transplantation with her decellularizing technique that makes un-transplantable organs into scaffold frameworks for creating new organs with stem cells.
Through her company Organamet Bio, Dr. Taylor is building bioengineered personalized hearts and she estimates they may be ready in 5 years.
This means people will no longer need to die for someone else to live.
Ultimately, this allows us to scale heart transplant surgery and remove fatal heart disease from nearly 100% of all people.
#3. Vaxxinity (where I serve as a Co-founder) is on a mission to democratize health, and one of the ways they’re doing that is by developing a vaccine to combat heart disease.
A key factor for developing heart disease is high levels of LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) in the bloodstream.
One treatment that helps lower LDL levels is Repatha, a monoclonal antibody that attaches to the PCSK9 protein in the liver. For instance, this is the treatment I use. It comes in 5 milliliter injectors and I inject it into my thigh every two weeks. This reduces my LDL levels by 50% and I feel good knowing that I’m reducing my risk of heart disease or heart attack.
But at $10,000 per year, it’s expensive and out of reach for most people.
What if we could lower the cost of such treatments a thousandfold and allow your body to generate the exact same antibody every six months or once a year instead of every two weeks?
That’s what Vaxxinity aims to do.
Just last month, the company announced that its VXX-401 vaccine, which reduces LDL levels by targeting PCSK9, has entered Phase 1 clinical trials.
I bet you won’t hear that on CNN, what I call the “Crisis News Network”...
Why it Matters:
I am hopeful that we will see a cure for heart disease this decade. This would alleviate the suffering of countless individuals across the planet and help us grow as a human family.
Also, while there is a lot of talk right now about whether AI will be good or bad for humanity, people like Dr. James Min remind me that our tools are only as good as their handlers.
The key is to use them wisely and act with good intentions.
Remember: while it may not seem like it, the world is getting exponentially better every day.