AVANT Atherosclerosis Vaccine Raises HDL, Reduces Atherosclerosis In Vaccinated Animals

l-fed rabbits, an accepted and well established experimental model that has been used in the development of current cholesterol-lowering therapies, including the statins. The results showed that CETP-vaccinated rabbits exhibited significantly reduced CETP activity and changes in plasma lipoproteins. Moreover, CETP-vaccinated rabbits had higher concentrations of HDL cholesterol in their blood, and had significantly smaller areas of fatty streak lesions in their aortas than were exhibited by untreated control animals.

AVANT believes that inhibiting CETP has great potential to be a safe and effective strategy for preventing coronary artery disease. AVANT cites the existence of a well-studied human population in Japan which congenitally lacks functional CETP. Individuals with this genetic mutation have been observed to have high HDL levels and a low incidence of atherosclerosis, and to have otherwise normal health. AVANT hopes to show similar effects in normal individuals through vaccination.

Dr. Ryan said, "Currently there is no effective therapy for increasing blood HDL levels: diet and moderate exercise are ineffective, statins produce only a modest 5-7% increase in HDL cholesterol, and niacin has side effects that limit its use. In addition, patient compliance with cholesterol lowering drugs has been low, leading to their reduced usefulness. Thus we believe a vaccine approach to raising HDL, by which patients might receive treatment two to three times yearly, could offer significant benefits for reducing the risks of atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. In addition, such a vaccine might expand the market for cholesterol-lowering therapies to people at somewhat lower health risk, for whom cholesterol-lowering drugs are not presently employed."

Atherosclerosis is a progressive condition leading to arterial blockage and reduced blood flow by fatty deposits called plaque on blood vessel walls. This condition significantly increases the ris

Contact: Joan Kureczka
Kureczka/Martin Associates

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