4:29 PM
 | 
Apr 13, 2018
 |  BioCentury  |  Tools & Techniques

Personalizing prevention

How PlaqueTec’s new catheter could enable personalized CV preventive care

PlaqueTec Ltd. is working to bring personalized medicine to the cardiovascular space with a device that samples local concentrations of molecules near atherosclerotic plaques. By using these samples to identify prognostic and predictive biomarkers, the company hopes to be able to direct tailored treatments to those who will benefit most, improving both outcomes for patients and uptake of new therapies.

The cardiovascular prevention market relies on broad use of inexpensive generics such as statins, beta blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. New entrants have had to fight to make inroads even when they have data showing improvements in health and/or pharmacoeconomic outcomes.

Novartis AG’s Entresto sacubitril/valsartan is one example, even though the drug reduced cardiovascular death by 20% and hospitalizations due to heart failure by 21% compared with enalapril.

Identifying patients at greater risk of cardiovascular events could improve the reimbursement case for such therapies. It also could reduce the size of trials needed to show a benefit, and reduce side effect exposure in patients unlikely to benefit.

PlaqueTec’s approach revolves around the Liquid Biopsy System, a device that can analyze molecules upstream, alongside and downstream of atherosclerotic plaques to look for molecular predictors of risk. These molecules could be developed as new targets for cardiovascular treatments and as biomarkers for identifying subgroups most likely to benefit from those treatments.

“The question is: by sampling directly around these plaques, could you select patients in a way that you can’t do with peripheral markers?” said CEO Annalisa Jenkins.

Jenkins joined in November 2017 after two years of advising the company, in part because data from the Phase III CANTOS study of Novartis’ Ilaris canakinumab showed residual risk can be predicted, and suggested...

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