PHILADELPHIA, April 25, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- CytoVas, LLC and BD Biosciences, a division of BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), announced today they have formed a strategic alliance to jointly develop a new blood-based diagnostic test to predict individualized patient risk of heart attack and stroke.
This test, currently called the Vascular Health Profile (VHP), fills a major unmet need in cardiovascular medicine. Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD) affects over 82 million people in the US and remains the leading cause of death throughout the developed world. In the next few years worldwide CVD-related complications and costs are expected to dramatically increase coincident with the growing prevalence of diabetes. Despite this immense and increasing demand, no reliable predictive measure exists to help physicians stratify risk for individual patients and optimize decisions for therapeutic intervention and management.
"The Vascular Health Profile offers a critical advance in cardiovascular care," said Emile Mohler , MD, a cardiologist and Professor of Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and a co-inventor of the technology. "As cholesterol testing has been shown non-predictive of true health outcomes, we need a test that can accurately guide therapeutic decision-making."
CytoVas, LLC was founded under the University of Pennsylvania UPstart incubator program by Jonni S. Moore , PhD, and Wade Rogers , PhD, of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, along with Dr. Mohler, all faculty members of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. In May 2012, the American Heart Association (AHA) announced CytoVas would become the first recipient of funding through their Science & Technology Accelerator Program, an initiative designed to speed the investigation and development of products to help people with cardiovascular disease.
"In the current landscape, it's not easy for research discoveries to forge a rapid path toward patient benefit," said Dr. Moore, a world-renowned expert in flow cytometry, Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Director of Clinical and Research Flow Cytometry at the Perelman School of Medicine. "The partnership with BD is a promising step in bridging the gap from research to patients for this potentially life-saving diagnostic."
The partnership enables CytoVas to investigate the Vascular Health Profile's capacity to assess cardiovascular disease progression, as well as the cardiovascular-related efficacy and side effect profiles of existing and experimental medicines. The Company already has studies underway with several therapies to that end.
"I believe the VHP will become instrumental in guiding treatment decisions by helping us understand what is happening – in real time – at the actual site of a patient's atherosclerotic plaque, the endothelium," said Noel Warner , PhD, Worldwide Vice President, Scientific Affairs, BD Biosciences. "This could be instrumental in guiding clinical treatment as well as aiding industry as a biomarker or companion diagnostic for therapeutic innovation."
"For the American healthcare system, the Vascular Health Profile is a potential game-changer," said Ross Tonkens , a cardiologist and head of the American Heart Association's Science & Technology Accelerator Fund. "This test not only offers the promise of identifying symptom-free individuals at high risk, but could also assess the effectiveness of new therapies to prevent heart attack and stroke."
Cytovas and BD expect their current strategic alliance to run for at least two years, at the end of which they will consider options to gain regulatory and reimbursement approval to market the Vascular Health Profile.
CytoVas is a leading-edge biomarker discovery and development company based in Philadelphia. The company's patent-pending Cytometric Fingerprinting technology automates pattern recognition of known cellular markers of disease and treatment over time and across broad patient populations. The technology was developed by a team of University of Pennsylvania scientists and physicians and spun out of the UPstart Program at the University's Center for Technology Transfer in 2011. The Company's first focus area for research, Cardiovascular Health, used the new science of cytomics to combine sensitive laser-based flow cytometry measurements with unique computational methods to discover a pattern, or profile, that can reflect the health of the endothelium. For more information, please visit www.cytovas.com.
Todd Johnson CytoVas, 917-750-9605, firstname.lastname@example.org
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