Current research limitations
Coronary artery disease cannot be resolved using existing CVD technologies
Whereas some therapeutic areas, such as cancer, have benefitted significantly from the development of biomarkers with a clear association with target tissue and the diseased state, similar progress has yet to be made in CVD.
PlaqueTec’s approach enables the identification and use of biomarkers from the target tissue.
CVD research is limited by the inability to collect samples from the critical site of disease:
The entire cardiovascular system is prone to plaque, however 75% of CVD deaths are caused by the rupture of plaque within the coronary arteries, which represent less than 1% of the overall cardiovascular system. The state of disease within the coronary arteries is critical to an individual’s risk of a heart attack, and biomarkers are likely to be predictive of the state of disease and patient risk.
However, most biomarker work to date has been carried out on circulating peripheral blood which contains molecules released from plaques throughout the entire cardiovascular system, not just those within the coronary arteries. As circulating biomarkers contain biomarkers derived from inflammatory processes throughout the cardiovascular system and elsewhere in the body, the concentrations of biomarkers found in circulating blood bear little resemblance to the levels actually released by the coronary arteries making risk prediction based on conventional blood sampling extremely difficult if not impossible.
PlaqueTec collects biomarkers from coronary arteries both upstream and downstream of the diseased tissue.
Local imaging approaches to plaque detection rely on inferring plaque vulnerability from physical characteristics and provide limited power:
Imaging devices provide local information but provide minimal insight into the underlying disease pathways.
For example, the 697 patient PROSPECT study concluded that in vivo detection of potentially vulnerable plaque by intravascular ultrasound is unsuitable for clinical application; 95% of identified thin capped fibrous atheroma did not lead to events after 3.5 years.
Biomarkers reflect the biological processes taking place in diseased tissue.