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New Vaccine Immunizes Heart Against Heart Attack

New Vaccine Immunizes Heart Against Heart Attack

(ePharmaNews) - "Vaccination of the heart to make it immune to heart attacks," It may seems as a dream at the first glance, but a recent study confirms that those dreams have become true and that it will not be long until you see the thousands lining up in front of health centers to vaccinate "their hearts" against the main cause of death around the world.

The study, published on March 30th in the electronic European Society of Cardiology journal, included two strategies that can soon change the treatment landscape of heart disease; injecting cardiovascular disease (CVD) patients with vaccines or antibodies to combat atherosclerosis. Both approaches can be considered edge-cutting investigations as they are for the first time targeting the underlying cause of CVD.
“People at high risk of MI are likely to be the first candidates for immune approaches. Such treatments, since they’ve totally different modes of action, could be used in addition to the current therapies,” explained Nilsson, who is professor of Experimental Cardiovascular Research at Lund University, Sweden, and a key player in the development of immune treatments.

Due to the beginning of human trials using the " modified antibody " in both the United States and Canada, researchers expect to announce the results in the last quarter of this year, and - if all goes well - the first treatment licensed by this group will be in the market over the past four or five years.

Undoubtedly there is an urgent need for new approaches to tackle CHD, a condition that affect millions around the world and kills two million people each year across Europe only.  Established therapies against atherosclerosis almost exclusively focus on risk factor modification – that is reduction of dyslipidaemia, hypertension and hyperglycaemia. “Existing treatments only reduce the risk of patients experiencing a CVD event by 40%. Although such results are encouraging, it shouldn’t be forgotten that 60% of CVD events continue to occur,” said Nilsson.

The story began, in the early 1990s, with identification of antibodies against oxidised low density lipoproteins (LDL) in artery plaques, this discovery gave rise to the concept that CVD might be an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks oxidised LDL.  To test this hypothesis Nilsson and colleagues conducted experiments immunizing rabbits with high blood cholesterol with their own oxidised LDL. “We had anticipated that immunization would result in the atherosclerosis becoming more aggressive, but to our initial disappointment found that immunization appeared to be activating protection against atherosclerosis. At the time this made no sense to us at all,” Nilsson said.

After years of research and study, a team of researchers developed a vaccine called CVX-210 vaccine, which is still in its trial form.    
The oxidised LDL consists of variable and complicated structures among human beings. So the researchers adopted the “(apo) B peptides” which is the most common and could activate the preventive effect, which when formulated with a carrier and adjuvant, reduced development of atherosclerosis in mice by 60 to 70%.

Further along the development pathway, and already in clinical trials, is an altogether different immune approach involving injection of antibodies directly targeting oxidised LDL. “The rationale is that since oxidised LDL plays a major role in the development of atherosclerotic plaques and harmful inflammatory processes,  directly targeting oxidised LDL should  prevent plaque formation and reduce inflammation,” explained  Nilsson.
Preclinical studies show that the injection of antibodies reduced the formation of atherosclerotic plaques and plaques already present by 50%. And the studies are still going on
 Looking to the future, Nilsson said it was unlikely that either of the previous vaccines to be given as”one off jabs” during childhood against CVD. “Both these treatments are far more like drugs – to be effective they’d need to be given long term. The antibody therapy in particularly is likely to be expensive so you could probably only afford to give it to high risk populations rather than everyone,” he said.

اضغط هنا للقراءة باللغة العربية

Prepared by: Mohammed Kanjo
Translated by: Marcell Shehwaro

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