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Peer Reviewed Clinical Study Shows New Blood Test More Accurately Predicts Risk Of A Heart Attack

IRVINE, Calif., Nov. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Aviir Inc., a biotechnology company dedicated to the prevention of cardiovascular disease through innovative laboratory tests, announced today that a new peer reviewed study published in the November issue of Current Medical Research and Opinion demonstrated that its MIRISK VP (formerly TruRisk™) Assessment is an improved method of determining who is likely to suffer from a heart attack within five years, allowing preventive measures to be implemented.

The study investigators analyzed more than 5000 individuals culminating in a study that sampled blood from 1084 individuals who had no evidence of heart disease and were followed over 8 years. The MIRISK VP algorithm was shown to correctly identify significantly more individuals who experienced a heart attack as being at high risk versus the Framingham Risk Score, the current gold standard of measuring risk. The MIRISK VP assessment was then shown to perform more accurately than the current gold standard method in a separate multi-ethnic study population, identifying correctly a net 43% more individuals as higher or lower risk for heart disease in the intermediate risk group. The MIRISK VP test measures the blood levels of seven coronary artery disease-related proteins associated with plaque formation and inflammation, along with other clinical risk factors, such as family history, in an algorithm to determine an individual's personal risk of a cardiac event.

Tom Quertermous, MD, William G. Irwin Professor of Medicine. Chief, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine (Research), Stanford University School of Medicine, and the principal investigator on the study explained, "A significant number of coronary events occur in individuals classified as intermediate risk by commonly used assessment tools. Over half the individuals who experience a severe cardiac event, such as myocardial infarction or 'heart attack,' have at most one such risk factor. Individuals classified as intermediate risk that are actually at high risk may not receive the appropriate treatments and are less likely to make the medical and lifestyle changes necessary to avoid a serious cardiac event.  Equally important, a significant number of individuals who are actually at low risk can avoid costly therapy and additional diagnostic testing with the MIRISK VP."

Aviir CEO Douglas Harrington, MD, explained that more than 50 percent of people who suffer a heart attack have "normal" cholesterol levels and many of those victims have no significant narrowing of their arteries.

"A key indication of risk, aside from age, family history and other common clinical clues, is the presence of vulnerable plaque in the arteries," said Harrington. "That plaque can rupture at any time, causing clotting that can lead to an acute myocardial infarction. In fact, over 75% of cardiac events are caused by vulnerable plaque rupture. It has been shown that about 80% of heart disease is preventable. The information that MIRISK VP provides is significant to giving both the patient and physician the knowledge necessary to head-off a potentially life threatening event through both medical and lifestyle choices." "In addition," concluded Harrington, "The power of the multi-ethnic and gender demographics in this study allows more accurate risk assessment for specific real-world subgroups that face either greater or less risk than the subset of white males that has been the predominant population in past risk studies."

Dr. Quertermous continued, "A clinically useful method for accurately predicting 5-year risk of a serious cardiac event among intermediate risk patients has been an unmet medical need; however, the results of this study indicate that the MIRISK VP assessment, with its novel protein biomarkers, is a powerful prediction tool and an important step towards improved patient knowledge and care."

About the MIRISK VP™ Assessment
The Aviir MIRISK VP Assessment was developed out of basic research at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Researchers identified proteins associated with the biological processes underlying vulnerable plaque development and showed they could be measured in a patient's blood up to 5 years prior to a plaque rupture and the ensuing heart attack. Aviir's scientists developed sensitive multiplexed assays to measure proteins in a person's serum and an algorithm that combines the levels of those proteins with other clinical risk factors into the MIRISK VP Assessment to provide an absolute risk score for CHD risk. That algorithm has been shown in an independent study population to significantly reclassify intermediate risk individuals into their true risk category. By objectively classifying those patients at high risk, the Aviir MIRISK VP Assessment supports physicians to more effectively manage and treat this group – aiding in the reduction and prevention of cardiac events. Used in conjunction with other clinical information, the MIRISK VP Assessment's easy to understand risk score for the imminent 5-year horizon may motivate compliance and behavioral changes by patients previously misidentified as intermediate risk.

About Aviir
Aviir was founded in 2005 by cardiologists and scientists from the Stanford University School of Medicine to focus on discovery, development and commercialization of innovative diagnostic tests. The biotechnology company specializes in developing proprietary diagnostic tests to assist in identifying patients who are truly at high risk for the development of a cardiac event. Aviir's proprietary MIRISK and MIRISK VP assessments objectively identify, using a single blood draw, individuals who are at a high risk of experiencing a cardiac event over the next five years. Aviir's CLIA certified laboratory (Irvine, CA) complements these novel tests with a wide range of additional tests for heart health assessment and therapeutic monitoring of cardiovascular disease and related metabolic disorders – including pharmacogenomic and genetic tests. The company has adopted a unique clinical laboratory service model to provide physicians better diagnostic tools to help improve the cardiovascular health of their patients. The company is privately owned and funded by leading life science venture capital firms. Please visit  for more information.

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