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Low levels of anti-PC predict vein graft failure

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN – October 25, 2012. Athera Biotechnologies AB, a Karolinska Development AB portfolio company, today announced that results from a new study were presented at the Pacific Northwest Vascular Society Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Canada. The data shows that low levels of plasma anti-PC, measured with Athera’s CVDefine® kit, are associated with a high risk for vein graft failure after bypass surgery.

It is known from previous published studies that low plasma levels of antibodies against phosphorylcholine (anti-PC) are linked to poor prognosis in acute heart attack patients, as well as to development of atherosclerosis and serious cardiovascular consequences like heart attack and stroke in healthy individuals. Professor Michael Sobel of the Division of Vascular Surgery, VA Puget Sound HCS and the University of Washington, Seattle, USA, and his colleagues have now conducted a pilot, prospective, observational study in patients undergoing vein bypasses for atherosclerotic occlusive disease of the legs. The objective of the study was to determine if low anti-PC antibody levels might be associated with loss of primary patency. Measurements of anti-PC levels in these patients, using a simple blood-test, showed that low levels were associated with a high risk of thrombosis or re-intervention for stenosis, also raising the possibility of treatment with immunotherapies to improve bypass longevity. The testing was performed using Athera’s CVDefine® kit.

More than one in four of all vein graft procedures develop stenosis or fail within the first 1-2 years. These patients are at risk for re-intervention, as well as more serious complications like leg amputation or death. Current treatments to improve graft longevity are limited to general medical treatments (e.g. antithrombotic drugs and lipid lowering agents) or procedures to revise the graft, but no targeted treatments are approved yet.

Carina Schmidt, CEO of Athera: “Athera is developing an anti-inflammatory antibody therapy, PC-mAb, for prevention of secondary cardiovascular events in myocardial infarction patients with low levels of anti-PC. These new findings may open opportunities for PC-mAb and its companion diagnostic kit CVDefine®, for identification and treatment of a high-risk patient group in a niche indication of high medical need.”

About Athera Biotechnologies AB (publ)

Athera has a unique and in-depth understanding of the immunological components in atherosclerosis, the inflammatory process leading to cardiovascular disease (CVD). The lead product candidate, PC-mAb, is in late preclinical development, using a unique fully human monoclonal antibody. PC-mAb is being developed to restore vascular and cardio-protective levels of anti-PC and prevent secondary CVD events. In addition, Athera has developed a biomarker and companion diagnostic CVDefine® kit. The biomarker, anti-PC, is linked to increased risk for cardiovascular disease and could in the future be used for identification of patients that benefit from Athera’s novel therapeutics. For more information, please visit

For further Information:

Athera Biotechnologies AB (publ)

Chief Executive Officer
Carina Schmidt
Tel +46 76 193 81 90

PDF.pngLow levels of anti-PC predict vein graft failure