Karolinska Development

Cardiovascular and Alzheimer therapy project wins VINNOVA grant

Pressmeddelande   •   Apr 29, 2009 16:00 CEST

The Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems, VINNOVA, has granted support to Athera Biotechnologies and Karolinska Institutet for development of antibodies for treatment of cardiovascular and Alzheimer diseases.Athera is an atherosclerosis R&D company developing novel products for treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD), which currently has two biopharmaceutical product candidates aimed at treating patients with acute heart conditions and a biomarker linked to the therapeutic approach.

Four hundred fifty applicants had responded to the first call of the program called "Innovations for future health", for a total amount of SEK 3,900 million. VINNOVA has today announced the 17 projects and 6 research and innovation clusters supported with over SEK 200 million. The project including Athera Biotechnologies and Karolinska Institutet scientists is among the winners, with a budget of SEK 5 million over three years. The project includes activities to further develop the understanding of natural antibodies to phospholipids, including anti-PC, in several inflammatory conditions, where an under-active immune defense decreases the protection to oxidized phosholipids.

Last year, data indicating that low anti-PC levels predict an increased risk of CVD were presented. One study included myocardial infarction (MI) patients and suggested that anti-PC measurements could be used to predict the likelihood of secondary CVD events up to six months after an initial event. This has since been followed up with another study involving over 1000 ACS patients. The product, CVDefine®, was introduced last year and provides an easy-to-use ELISA kit (CEmarked) for quantitative analysis of anti-PC in human blood.

Through the "Innovations for future health" program, VINNOVA finances research and innovation projects developing novel products for prevention, diagnostics, treatment and care, with a potential to improve health within 10-15 years. In the next five years a total of up to SEK 600 million will be granted in several calls.

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