A Davenport research foundation studying ways to stimulate new blood vessel growth in the heart to replace blocked passageways. Doctor Eric Dippel says doctors normally can open blockages with balloons, stints and bypasses, but sometimes that doesn’t work. Dippel says the study involves injecting a gene therapy protein into the muscle of the heart to try and stimulate new blood vessel growth. He says there are currently -no- gene therapies approved for marketing by the F-D-A. Dippel’s office, Midwest Cardiovascular, has just enrolled its first patient in the study. He says he’s looking for more study candidates for whom other methods of removing blockages did not work. He says it could be a new lease on life for people who are out of options, aside from a heart transplant. Dippel says if the studies yield positive results, the F-D-A could approve a new drug to be marketed within five years. Davenport is among 32 sites in the U.S. participating in the research.