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Gene therapy effective in erectile dysfunction treatment

Soon, men with erectile dysfunction won’t have to rely on a pill and careful timing for treatment.

Scientists at the American Urological Association announced that the first human trials of treating erectile dysfunction with gene therapy appear safe and effective.

"You don't need to plan to take the drug before you want to have sex," lead researcher Dr. Arnold Melman, a urology professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and co-founder of Ion Channel Innovations, told Reuters Health.

In the study, nine men were injected with different doses of a DNA formulation. Previous studies on animals suggested that this formulation improves smooth muscle relaxation and restores erectile function.

The purpose of the first human trial was to "establish the feasibility and safety of gene transfer for erectile dysfunction in humans," Melman said during a media briefing reported by Reuters Health.

None of the men reported adverse side effects during the six-month trial. Additionally, researchers noted improvement in erectile function, according to Melman.