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Athera Signs Agreements With German and UK Distributors for New Cardiovascular Biomarker

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Athera Biotechnologies AB, an atherosclerosis R&D company developing novel products for treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD), announced today that it has signed two distributor agreements - with Asbach Medical Products GmbH and with Oxford Biosystems Ltd.

Carina Schmidt, CEO of Athera, said "We are very excited about the opportunities these agreements present to Athera. They will allow us to reach a large number of customers in Germany and UK and will support further development of the broader clinical utility of our new CVD biomarker. We are looking forward to work with the experienced team in Asbach Medical Products and Oxford Biosystems."

High levels of IgM antibodies against phosphorylcholine (anti-PC) has been shown to predict less atherosclerosis development in hypertensive patients after a five-year follow up. However, in 2008 data indicating that low anti-PC levels predict an increased risk of CVD were presented. One study included myocardial infarction (MI) patients and suggested that anti-PC measurements could be used to predict the likelihood of secondary CVD events up to six months after an initial event. This has since been followed up with another study involving over 1000 ACS patients. The product, CVDefine(R), was introduced last year and provides an easy-to-use ELISA kit (CE-marked) for quantitative analysis of anti-PC in human blood.

About Athera Biotechnologies

Athera has a unique and in-depth understanding of the immunological components in atherosclerosis, the inflammatory process leading to cardiovascular disease (CVD). The company currently has two biopharmaceutical product candidates aimed at treating patients with acute heart conditions and a biomarker linked to the therapeutic approach. Athera is part of the Karolinska Development AB (publ) portfolio.

In 2008 Athera started a collaboration with Dyax Corp. (NASDAQ: DYAX) to discover and develop antibodies for treatment of cardiovascular inflammation. The therapy is based on phosphorylcholine (PC) and low levels of antibodies to PC in human serum have been linked with an increased risk of developing CVD. Athera is also a major partner in the highly ranked EU-project CVDIMMUNE lead by Karolinska Institutet. The project involves 10 partners, also including Phadia GmbH, TNO, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz and Leiden University Medical Center.
    Carina Schmidt, CEO, Phone: +46-705525115, Mail:
    About Asbach Medical Products

The company was founded in 2003 within the Technologie Park Neckar-Odenwald by Thomas Bossmann, a former Manager of Diagnostic Products Corporation and Diagnostic Systems Laboratories Germany, having long experience in the field. The target of Asbach Medical Products is distribution of high quality in vitro diagnostics.
    Thomas Bossmann, CEO, Mail:
    About Oxford Biosystems

Oxford Biosystems is a supplier of in vitro - diagnostics and immunochemicals for routine and research. Specialized in new innovative immunoassays and other analytical methods e.g. HPLC, PCR, in different areas of medical laboratory diagnostics, medical research and industrial laboratories.


John Coombes, CEO, Mail:

SOURCE Athera Biotechnologies
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