Wed Mar 29 2023
The Journal of Clinical Investigation states: “Using clinical, genetic and experimental data, a collaborative study between researchers from USA, Sweden and Denmark shows that suPAR is a pathogenic factor for cardiovascular disease”.
The study combined suPARnostic® products from ViroGates, genetic sequencing, and mouse and tissue experiments. It aimed to show that suPAR levels can predict coronary artery calcification and cardiovascular events. Researchers focused on 5,406 participants who had no prior known coronary disease.
The findings are consistent with previous studies showing suPARnostic®’s ability to predict cardiovascular disease. This new study, however, was conducted to determine if suPAR in itself is a factor that causes disease rather than just reflecting it.
To determine causality, researchers measured suPAR and conducted genetic analysis on over 25,000 individuals. They confirmed a mutation that raises suPAR levels both in cells and mice. This mutation, when expressed, leads to higher suPAR levels and caused atherosclerotic plaques in mice. These plaques are a common cardiovascular issue, leading to stroke and other heart diseases.
The UK biobank data confirmed suPAR’s causal role by linking the mutation, which elevates suPAR, with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Additionally, they found a rare mutation that lowers suPAR levels, correlating with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
The study concludes suPAR causes cardiovascular disease. ViroGates sees suPAR as a target for prevention and treatment. ViroGates plans to explore cardiology partnerships. These efforts aim to improve patient risk assessment. They will develop treatments to lower suPAR. This could improve prognosis for individuals and patients.
Jesper Eugen-Olsen, CSO of ViroGates, says: “The fact that suPAR is not only predictive of cardiovascular disease but in itself is causing disease is an entirely new paradigm for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. suPAR can now be seen as a target for treatment and monitoring. The new findings indicate that individuals with elevated suPAR levels should undergo lifestyle changes or treatment for the inflammatory status to lower suPAR levels. Also, the study opens for developing new anti-suPAR therapies that may prevent disease in high-risk individuals.”
Jakob Knudsen, CEO of ViroGates, says: “We are excited to see this publication as a landmark for suPAR research and our suPARnostic® products. We have known for years that suPARnostic® could predict cardiovascular disease. However, the fact that suPAR directly contributes to the disease’s development opens new commercial opportunities for us.
We will be able to target drug development for cardiovascular disease as clinical trials should incorporate suPARnostic® to select the right patient population. This is comparable to the SAVE-MORE study that focused on selecting COVID-19 patients for anakinra treatment based on their suPAR levels. In addition, we will have a strong value proposition to the commercial players that are targeting the market for general health screening since cardiovascular disease is the biggest target for screening for disease in the general population. This market has previously mainly been screened by, for example, cholesterol markers”.