Quantcast

Industry news that matters to you.  Learn more

Corgenix Announces Diagnostic Test Development Partnership with Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc.

Corgenix Medical Corporation (OTCBB: CONX), a worldwide developer and marketer of diagnostic test kits, recently announced a strategic partnership with Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc. (HDL, Inc.) for the development of a clinical Laboratory Developed Test (LDT). The LDT would be based on Corgenix’ patented proprietary atherosclerosis biomarker technology for potential use in assessing heart disease risk.

Two Biomarkers Predict Increased Risk for “Silent” Strokes

Two biomarkers widely being investigated as predictors of heart and vascular disease appear to indicate risk for “silent” strokes and other causes of mild brain damage that present no symptoms, report researchers from The Methodist Hospital and several other institutions in an upcoming issue of Stroke (now online).

The researchers found high blood levels of troponin T and NT-proBNP were associated with as much as 3 and 3.5 times the amount of damaged brain tissue, respectively. The findings are part of the large-scale Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study, funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

“The concept of prevention is expanding,” said principal investigator Christie Ballantyne, M.D., director of the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at The Methodist Hospital. “It’s not good enough to simply do a few tests and try to assess risk for heart attack. What we need to do is assess the risk for heart attack, stroke, heart failure and also asymptomatic disease so we can start preventive efforts earlier. Waiting to correct problems until after a symptomatic stroke may be too late.”

One possible outcome is that patients determined to be in high-risk groups could be started on anti-stroke medications sooner.

In another ARIC paper published two months ago in Stroke, Ballantyne and coauthors reported a strong association between blood levels of troponin T and NT-proBNP and more severe instances of stroke, called symptomatic stroke. The current study looked at the two biomarkers and “subclinical,” asymptomatic events in the brain that are usually caused by a lack of blood flow.

“Taken together, these two papers show the biomarkers are effective at identifying people who are likely to have mild brain disease and stroke well before damage is done,” said Ballantyne, who also is a Baylor College of Medicine professor. “This hopefully will give doctors more time to help patients take corrective steps to protect their brains.”

For the subclinical brain disease study, researchers gleaned data from about 1,100 patient volunteers who agreed to have blood drawn and two MRI scans eleven years apart to look for silent brain infarcts and also white matter lesions (WMLs) caused by chronic inflammation.

Statistical analysis showed a strong relationship between high NTproBNP and the likelihood of brain infarcts and WMLs. Study participants with the highest levels of NT-proBNP had as much as 3.5 times the number of brain infarcts as participants with low NT-proBNP levels, and more WMLs. Those with the highest levels of troponin T had as much as 3.0 times the number of brain infarcts and more WMLs.

The protein troponin T is part of the troponin complex and its presence is often used to diagnose recent heart attacks. NT-proBNP is an inactive peptide fragment left over from the production of brain natiuretic peptide (BNP), a small neuropeptide hormone that has been shown to have value in diagnosing recent and ongoing congestive heart failure.

“The highly sensitive troponin T test we used is not approved for general clinical use in the US yet, but the NT-proBNP test is just now starting to be used more widely beyond making a diagnosis for heart failure,” Ballantyne said.

The Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention is part of the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center.

Also contributing to this study were Razvan Dadu, Salim Virani, Vijay Nambi, and Ron Hoogeveen (Baylor College of Medicine and Methodist Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention), Myriam Fornage and Eric Boerwinkle (University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston), Alvaro Alonso (University of Minnesota School of Public Health), Rebecca Gottesman (Johns Hopkins School of Medicine), and Thomas Mosley (University of Mississippi Medical Center). It was funded with grants from NHLBI and NIH, while Roche Applied Science helped fund the development of diagnostic technology.

Stroke is published by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association.

Source: Cardiovascular Biomarkers and Subclinical Brain Disease in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study.

Source: Troponin T, N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide, and incidence of stroke: the atherosclerosis risk in communities study.

Source: The Methodist Hospital System

The Search for an Early Biomarker to Fight Atherosclerosis

Recently, the Journal of the American Heart Association published conclusive results from a study directed by Dr. Éric Thorin of the Montreal Heart Institute (MHI), which suggests for the first time that a blood protein contributes to the early development of atherosclerosis.

Dr. Thorin, his team and his collaborators discovered that the blood levels of angiopoietin-like protein 2 (angptl2) are six times higher in subjects with coronary heart disease than in healthy subjects of the same age. Their basic research study also revealed that angptl2, which is undetectable in young mice, increases with age in healthy subjects and increases prematurely in subjects who have high cholesterol and pre-atherosclerotic lesions. Entitled “Angiopoietin-like 2 promotes atherogenesis in mice,” this study was conducted using an animal model consisting of three to twelve-month-old mice.

These results represent a major advance in the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis. “Although much work remains to be done to broaden our knowledge of this protein’s mechanisms of action, angiopoietin-like protein 2 may represent an early biomarker not only to prevent vascular damage but also to predict atherosclerotic disease,” explained Dr. Thorin.

For 15 years, Dr. Thorin, a researcher at the MHI Research Centre and full professor at Université de Montréal, has been interested in the evolution of artery function during the aging process and in the underlying mechanisms of atherosclerosis. More specifically over the past five years, he has looked at the role of this particular protein. Thanks to his work, we now know that angptl2 causes a high degree of vascular inflammation. Blood levels of this protein increase in patients with cardiovascular disease as well as in people with complications related to diabetes, obesity and cancer in which the small blood vessels are damaged, as all of these diseases are associated with chronic inflammation.

According to Dr. Anil Nigam, a cardiologist and specialist in cardiovascular disease prevention at the MHI and co-author of the study, “Prevention is the ideal solution to delay the onset of atherosclerosis, and an early blood marker such as angptl2—if future clinical studies confirm this finding—will serve as an important tool to identify at-risk subjects who do not present with any symptoms of atherosclerotic disease.”

Study: Angiopoietin‐Like 2 Promotes Atherogenesis in Mice

Source: Montreal Heart Institute

Entelos and ISB Announce Collaborative Gene Expression Breakthrough

Entelos Holding Corp. (“Entelos” or “the Company”), a premier provider of physiologicalsystemmodeling and services, and Seattle-based Institute for System Biology (ISB), the nonprofit pioneers of the systems approach to study the molecular causes of diseases, today announced the successful integration of gene expression data into quantitative physiological simulations. This proprietary capability improves understanding of the gene expression and disease outcomes to radically improve the predictive discernment of the complex nature of disease, yielding insights into novel therapeutic targets, biomarkers, and patient selection that should support a new era of precision medicine.

Entelos and ISB worked together to define a scientifically sound and scalable methodology to provide breakthrough capabilities for both the modeling and systems pharmacology communities. It addresses business-critical problems in both pharmaceutical research and healthcare. “This workflow is transformative for understanding the role of molecular interactions and their impact on pharmaceutical R&D and healthcare decision making,” stated Entelos Founder and CTO, Tom Paterson. “By utilizing our computer models, we are able to use all identified correlations across gene network studies to decipher genetic influence on the disruptions identified as disease. As an example, the new capabilities were able to help us clearly define from a pool of 51 potential biomarkers, and which biomarkers identified non-responders and responders for anti-IL1 therapies for rheumatoid arthritis.”

“The mapping and application of clinical gene expression data sets a new standard and role for quantitative physiological modeling within the drug discovery and development process,” stated Entelos President and CEO, Shawn O’Connor. “It’s only due to the unique depth and breadth of the Entelos quantitative physiological models that these sorts of mappings and analyses can be carried out across the entire pathophysiology of a disease. This is the beginning of truly understanding and leveraging the human genome for therapeutic success”

“As the interconnected features of the disease space become increasingly more visible, we are continuing to look for new ways to decipher the elaborate data that hides therapeutic success“ said Dr. Lee Hood, co-founder and president of Institute for Systems Biology and recipient of the National Medal of Science. “This approach represents a breakthrough capability for deriving insights from those data sets.”

This demonstrated convergence of top-down functional systems biology and bottom-up molecular systems biology provides an approach for using clinical gene expression data to investigate a wide diversity of diseases, to decipher disease complexity, and to understand variability and reduce uncertainty in populations and sub populations. Entelos and ISB are now seeking commercial partners to advance additional existing disease models (Atherosclerosis, Type 2 Diabetes, Hypertension, Rheumatoid Arthritis, etc.) and generate new in silico applications.

Source: Entelos

A Simpler Way to Predict Heart Failure

The most widely used models for predicting heart failure rely on a complex combination of lifestyle, demographic, and cardiovascular risk factor information. But recently Vijay Nambi, M.D., Ph.D., and Christie Ballantyne, M.D., of The Methodist Hospital Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and the Baylor College of Medicine presented new data that show two biomarkers can improve heart failure risk prediction as part of a simpler model. Their presentation was part of the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2012 in Los Angeles.