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Sigma-Aldrich Partners with NHLBI, BU to Find Cardiovascular Biomarkers

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Sigma-Aldrich today announced a partnership to develop methods to measure potential biomarkers for atherosclerosis cardiovascular disease in plasma samples from the Framingham Heart Study.

The partnership brings together Sigma-Aldrich, Boston University, and the National Institutes of Health's National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

NHLBI and BU's School of Medicine and School of Public Health run the Framingham study. NHLBI is providing funding to Sigma-Aldrich under a research sub-agreement with BU, though the amount of funding was not disclosed.

Under the five-year project, the three partners will analyze plasma samples from 7,000 participants in the Framingham study and investigate 180 potential biomarkers for CVD. Sigma-Aldrich anticipates developing antibody reagents for each identified target biomarker and to incorporate the reagents into a multiplexed, high-throughput platform to measure proteins of interest, it said in a statement.

"By embarking on this exciting effort, we believe we will help to develop the next generation of biomarker technologies for life science research and therapeutic applications, and provide greater understanding into the genetics and biological pathways of heart disease," Dave Smoller, president of Sigma-Aldrich's research biotech business unit, said in the company's statement.

The new project is part of a Framingham initiative called Systems Approach to Biomarker Research in Cardiovascular Disease for the identification and validation of new CVD biomarkers and eventually the development of new blood-based tests.

Last year, BG Medicine also entered into a collaboration with NHLBI and BU as part of the SABRe CVD initiative to analyze potential heart disease biomarkers in the hope of developing blood-based tests.