A method for treating critical limb ischemia and other ischemic injuries

Unmet Need

The most severe stage of peripheral artery disease, a chronic vascular disease characterized by impaired circulation to patients’ lower extremities, is critical limb ischemia (CLI), and it affects approximately two million people in the United States. Increased risk of cardiovascular events, amputation and death are associated with CLI. Revascularization is the current standard of care, but this approach often fails. Up to 60% of CLI patients are readmitted within six months, and mortality of CLI patients typically exceeds 50% by five years. There is a need for improved CLI treatment options that improve patient outcomes.


Duke inventors have reported a method for treating ischemic injury caused by diminished blood flow, including those that suffer from CLI. Specifically, a polynucleotide encoding for Bcl2-associated athanogene-3 (BAG-3) is administered to a patient as a treatment for ischemic injury. The inventors have demonstrated this technology using adeno-associated viruses encoding for a BAG-3 variant, Ile81, and observed reduced limb tissue necroses and increased limb tissue perfusion in mouse models.


  • Offers a treatment method that preserves tissue survival and muscle function for patients with critical limb ischemia
  • Demonstrated that tissue necrosis, limb perfusion, vascular density, defective ischemic muscle regeneration, and limb muscle contraction could all be rescued in mouse models