Archive for December, 2011

NEW ADVANCE ANNOUNCED IN REDUCING ‘BAD’ CHOLESTEROL

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Leicester, UK

Researchers identify enzyme that could be targeted to help body tackle LDL’s

Scientists from the University of Leicester and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) have announced a major advance towards developing drugs to tackle dangerous, or ‘bad’, cholesterol in the body.

Prof. John Schwabe
Prof. John Schwabe
University of Leicester
Prof. of Structural Biology
Photo:le.ac.uk

They have filed two patents for developing targeted drugs that would act as a catalyst for lowering levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol. Two research papers published by the academics enhance the understanding of the regulation of low density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol.

LDL, the so called ‘bad’ cholesterol, is often linked to medical problems like heart disease, stroke and clogged arteries.

In the body, cells in the liver produce an LDL receptor that binds LDL and removes it from the blood, thereby lowering cholesterol levels.

The scientists have characterised an enzyme called IDOL that plays a key role in regulating the amount of LDL receptor available to bind with ‘bad’ cholesterol. Therefore targeting the enzyme with drugs could increase the levels of LDL receptors present, thus lowering circulating cholesterol in humans.

Professor John Schwabe, Head of Biochemistry at the University of Leicester, said: “Development of a drug that interferes with IDOL’s activity could help lower levels of LDL. Our research has greatly enhanced our understanding of this important process.”

Prof John Schwabe, Dr Ben Goult and Dr Louise Fairall at the University of Leicester in collaboration with the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) published their research in the top research journals: Genes & Development and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS). The research was funded by The Wellcome Trust, the NIH and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

The study published in Genes & Development announced the first atomic structural information on IDOL and identified the E2 ligase, UBE2D that works with IDOL to degrade the LDL receptor.

In the second research article published in PNAS, the team elucidated the molecular basis for the stringent specificity of IDOL for the LDL receptor.

Professor Schwabe added: “Remarkably, IDOL only targets three proteins for degradation (all lipoprotein receptors) and this research paper greatly enhances our understanding of this specificity and identifies key residues involved in mediating this interaction.”

“A potential future drug that targets IDOL could be prescribed in conjunction with statin drugs, which also cut cholesterol levels by increasing production of the LDL receptor and these two studies make considerable headway towards this.”

>>>>>Read all the latest in our HeartVigor.com News Page.

AMERICAN FIRST AT MONTREAL - PATIENT TREATED WITH BIOABSORBABLE HEART DEVICE

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Montreal, Canada, December 5, 2011
The interventional cardiology team at the Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) used the world’s first drug eluting bioresorbable vascular scaffold to successfully treat a woman suffering from coronary artery disease. This landmark procedure was performed by Dr. Jean Francois Tanguay, interventional cardiologist and coordinator of the Coronary Unit, as part of the ABSORB EXTEND clinical trial. This successful intervention was a first in North America.

Dr. Jean Francois Tanguay
Dr. Jean Francois Tanguay
Coronary Unit
Montreal Heart Institute
Photo:icm-mhi.org

A breakthrough that could change the lives of patients The patient, a woman in her sixties, had suffered from chest pain for a number of months. She was diagnosed with a severe lesion to the heart main artery. She responded favorably to the procedure, was discharged after 24 hours and now, one month after, has regained a normal way of life with no more chest pain.

The investigational ABSORB bioresorbable vascular scaffold, developed by global healthcare company Abbott, is an innovative therapy that restores blood flow by opening a clogged vessel and providing support to the vessel while it heals. Once the vessel can remain open without the extra support, the bioresorbable scaffold is designed to be slowly metabolized until the device dissolves after approximately two years, leaving patients with a treated vessel free of a permanent metallic implant. With no metal left behind, the vessel has the potential to return to a more natural state. After the device has been metabolized, the patient’s vessel is free to move, flex, pulsate and dilate similar to an untreated vessel.

For Dr. Jean Francois Tanguay, it was important to be part of this first intervention, since during his postdoctoral studies he worked on early models of bioresorbable vascular scaffolds. “Treatments for coronary artery disease have progressed tremendously from the days of balloon angioplasties and metal stents leading to improved clinical outcome in our patients,” said Dr. Tanguay, who is also an associate professor of Medicine at the Universite de Montreal. “By effectively opening up a blocked artery without leaving a permanent implant behind in the blood vessel, this bioresorbable vascular scaffold has the potential to revolutionize how we treat our patients.”

A revolution in the way we treat patients with coronary artery disease

This treatment is available in Canada as part of Abbott’s global ABSORB EXTEND clinical trial which is a significant milestone toward making this innovative technology available to heart disease patients in Canada. In Canada, the clinical trial is conducted at four centers, including the Montreal Heart Institute (Dr. Jean Francois Tanguay), Institut Universitaire de Cardiologie et de Pneumologie de Quebec (Dr. Eric Larose), University of Ottawa Heart Institute (Dr. Marino Labinaz) and St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto (Dr. Christopher E. Buller). The ABSORB EXTEND trial will enroll approximately 1,000 patients from up to 100 centers in Europe, Asia Pacific, Canada and Latin America.

The device is made of polylactide, a proven biocompatible material that is commonly used in medical implants such as dissolvable sutures. ABSORB has CE Mark and is authorized for sale in Europe. It is under clinical investigation around the world with more than 500 patients treated with the device.

>>>>>Read all the latest in our HeartVigor.com News Page.