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Atherotech Says Detailed Cholesterol Test Can Help Doctors and Patients Choose Best Therapy
Date:1/31/2008

VAP Cholesterol test can help doctors and clinicians identify best

treatment options for patients at risk of heart disease

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Jan. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Clinical trial results from a new cholesterol-fighting drug combination point to the need for more detailed cholesterol testing, including direct measurement of LDL and other lipids. That's according to Atherotech, a cardio-diagnostic company that has developed an expanded cholesterol test called the VAP (Vertical Auto Profile) test, which can help doctors and clinicians identify the best treatment options for patients at risk of heart disease.

According to Atherotech Chief Medical Officer James Ehrlich, M.D., media reports about recently released trials have now resulted in widespread concern and confusion about the general value of lipid lowering agents, particularly statins, which play a critically important role in very high risk patients. Ehrlich pointed to a recent BusinessWeek article that raised multiple questions about the role of statins in the prevention of coronary disease, the nation's top killer.

"Atherotech believes that precise physician decisions about lifelong management of hypercholesterolemia can only be accomplished with a detailed profiling of lipoprotein components," said Atherotech Chief Medical Officer James Ehrlich, M.D. "By identifying the patient's true risk and by detailing his/her lipid profile with a VAP test, the physician can now successfully modify risk and improve the lipid levels in a rational manner. Some patients need combination therapy while others are well treated with monotherapy (statins)."

Ehrlich explained that new drugs and therapies are still important tools in helping individuals at risk to reach LDL goals, sometimes without statin therapy. However, he emphasized how we modify lipoprotein patterns may be more important in decreasing the risk of heart attack and stroke than simply lowering LDL cholesterol alone.

Unlike standard cholesterol tests that only measure LDL (bad cholesterol), HDL (good cholesterol), and total cholesterol, Atherotech's VAP test (http://www.thevaptest.com) enables direct, accurate measurement of important lipid subclasses and how they are transported and behave in the blood stream.

People who are already taking cholesterol lowering medication -- or have a family history or an existing condition of diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease -- are candidates for the comprehensive VAP test, which directly measures fifteen separate components of blood cholesterol, including the identification of risk from lipid subclasses such as Lp(a), low HDL2 and small, dense LDL particles. These detailed measurements then allow the physician or clinician to determine the best therapy for reducing a patient's risk of heart attack and stroke.

The VAP Test is available nationwide.

About Atherotech, Inc.

Atherotech is a cardio-diagnostic company focusing on direct measurement of the comprehensive lipid panel using the company's VAP Technology. Specifically, VAP is a patented density gradient ultracentrifugation that directly measures the cholesterol content of all lipids, components and subclasses. The VAP test is the first cholesterol profile to comply with updated National Cholesterol Education Program ATP III recommendations calling for more accurate, direct low-density lipoprotein (LDL) measurement which is unaffected by triglycerides. Included in Forbes.com's list of "15 ways to Live Longer" and named one of "Five Tests Worth Paying For" by the Wall Street Journal, The VAP Cholesterol Test -- the new standard of care for patients at risk for cardiovascular disease -- is available through national and regional diagnostic laboratories and is reimbursed by most payers as well as Medicare. For more information, visit http://www.thevaptest.com.


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SOURCE Atherotech, Inc.
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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