New tools to improve the diagnosis and treatment of early atherosclerosis

Summary of the technology

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death worldwide, with atherosclerosis (AT) being its main determinant. Currently, AT prevention is based on traditional scores that, however, fail to identify individuals at risk at early stages. The exact prevalence of subclinical atherosclerosis is impossible to determine, although it has been estimated in the USA that 50% of men and 64% of women who died of sudden cardiac death did not have a previous manifestation of the disease and most of them were not considered high risk according to the Framingham score.

Subjects that suffer from CV events despite pharmacotherapy or those that are intolerant to it, emphasize the need for alternative treatments to be explored.

CNIC researchers have discovered a metabolite as biomarker to identify individuals at risk at early stages, and the use of antagonist to this metabolite as new tool to improve the treatment of early AT. This treatment will be effective not only for AT, but also for autoinflammatory diseases.

Spanish National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC)

Details of the Technology Offer

Despite advances in prevention/therapy, the proportion of the population living with disabilities and chronic illness after a CV event has risen over the years, highlighting the need to intervene early in the apparently healthy population. Therefore, there is a need to develop biomarkers that can predict AT at early stages easily.

On the other hand, lipid-lowering therapy has been used for decades in AT, with statins being the therapy of choice both in primary and secondary prevention for cardiovascular diseases. However, some subjects still have cardiovascular disease risk following statin therapy, despite achieving LDL-cholesterol targets. Alternative pharmacological agents have been proposed over the years to address this limitation, most of them targeting lipid metabolism and also anti-inflammatory drugs. However, the number of adverse effects, the cost and the need of parenteral administration have limited their use to specific cases and generally in combination with statins.

The use of the antagonists to this metabolite provides a novel therapy based on a different metabolic pathway, giving an alternative to the subjects not responding or intolerant to lipid-lowering therapy.

Intellectual property status

  • Patent already applied for
  • Patent application number :EP23382650.2

Attached documents

Related Keywords

  • Biological Sciences
  • Medicine, Human Health
  • Diagnostics, Diagnosis
  • Heart and blood circulation illnesses
  • Medical Health related
  • Diagnostic
  • Diagnostic services
  • Therapeutic
  • atherosclerosis

About Spanish National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC)

The Spanish National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC) is a leading international research center dedicated to understanding the basis of cardiovascular health and disease and to translating this knowledge into improved patient care.

CNIC scientific area is organized into two departments focused on Basic Research and Clinical Research, fully interconnected through six multidisciplinary programs grouped into three research areas:

1 Vascular Pathophysiology
2 Myocardial Pathophysiology
3 Cell Developmental Biology

Our portfolio include biomarkers, genetic and diagnostic tools, animal models and treatments for cardiovascular, inflammatory and infectious diseases, among others. Some examples of our current projects include treatment for pulmonary hypertension, myeloproliferative diseases and trained immunity for prevention of infections. Regarding diagnosis, we are currently working on biomarkers for myocarditis, subclinical atherosclerosis and calcific aortic valve disease.


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