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BG Medicine to Find, Validate MI Biomarkers

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BG Medicine says it will work with the Copenhagen General Population Study to discover and validate novel proteomic biomarkers linked to myocardial infarction. The CGPS collaboration is part of the High-Risk Plaque Initiative, a four-year, $30 million research effort launched a year ago to develop better methods and technologies that can identify individuals at risk for heart disease. Specifically, the initiative is aimed at improving the understanding and management of high-risk plaque, which is closely associated with heart attacks and stroke.

Drug makers Merck and AstraZeneca, medical-imaging manufacturer Philips Electronics, and health insurer Humana are partners on the initiative.

The CGPS collaboration builds upon work in which Waltham, Mass.-based BG Medicine used blood samples from a Duke University biobank to find biomarkers for vulnerable plaque. Based on a retrospective study, BG Medicine has been able to find 12 protein markers with a sensitivity and specificity of 78 percent.

But according to BG Medicine CEO Pieter Muntendam, that study was relatively small and not representative of the general population, "and based on these findings, we decided it was time to take this to a larger general population study — and that's where the Copenhagen General Population Study came in." Whereas that first study looked at 169 individuals who developed heart diseases over a seven-year period, the BG Medicine/ CGPS research will look at 250 cases over four years and measure possibly hundreds of biomarkers, according to Muntendam.

While BG Medicine has several ongoing broad cardiovascular disease programs, its collaboration with CGPS is targeted specifically toward myocardial infarction. The beauty of the CGPS work is that it has "pure MI cases, so for a discovery study, which is what [our] first study is, that is the best population," Muntendam says. CGPS has provided BG Medicine 900 samples from 250 individuals who have had a heart attack.

— Tony Fong 

Proteomics Notes

Sigma-Aldrich and MorphoSys will be designing, producing, and distributing recombinant research antibodies together using Morpho-Sys's HuCAL Gold technology. Sigma will identify and supply targets and MorphoSys will develop antibodies from the library.

Nature Methods is "strongly recommending" that proteomics researchers deposit their raw data in public repositories before submitting their final manuscripts in order for other researchers to evaluate or reproduce their results.

Waters and Hitachi High-Technologies signed a development and distribution agreement related to Waters' Empower 2 chromatography data software. HHT will develop an interface for Empower 2 so that it can be used with its own LaChrom Elite and LaChrom Ultra liquid chromatography systems.

Datapoint

$1.2 million
Neurobiological Technologies Will collaborate with the Buck Institute to Develop Alzheimer's disease drugs with $1.2 million.

Funded grants

$249,000/FY2007
Comparative Proteomics to Study Age-Related Maculopathy
Grantee: Yetrib Hathout, Children's Research Institute
Began: July 1, 2007; Ends: June 30, 2009
The researchers will study how retinal pigment epithelium is involved in drusen formation, whose accumulation between the RPE and Bruch's membrane is associated with age-related macular degeneration. Using quantitative proteome profiling, they will determine which proteins are differentially expression in healthy RPE versus AMD RPE.

$212,500/FY2007
Identification of Serum Markers of Liver Fibrogenesis/Fibrolysis by Proteomics
Grantee: Detlef Schuppan, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Began: Sep. 06, 2007; Ends: Aug. 31, 2009
These researchers are on a path to find markers for hepatic fibrogenesis and fibrolysis, which often lead to liver cirrhosis. Using rat models, they will study biliary and panlobular fibrosis progression and its reversal, as well as employ quantitative proteomics and isobaric protein tags to uncover hepatic fibrogenesis and fibrolysis serum markers.

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