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Medical Industry plaque progression and inflammation, thus barring arterial thrombosis, ischemia, myocardial infarction, and stroke. This innovative nanopolymer has several advantages: it targets only damaged tissue and does not harm healthy tissue. At present, there are several available treatment options for atherosclerosis, but no other therapy reverses arterial damage and improves the heart muscle. Moreover, the polymer has no side effects, unlike statins, which are currently the leading medication used for treating atherosclerosis, BGU said.

Xeltis's RestoreX is a polymer-based platform that enables natural heart valve restoration

cardiovascular devices will be able to replace most commonly used implantable devices, and that ETR will improve patient outcomes while reducing the economic burden for healthcare systems. Meanwhile, the company reported recently at a paediatric cardiology summit held in Spain the progression of the ETC clinic trials involving its RestoreX technology. RestoreX is Xeltis’s polymer-based platform that enables natural heart valve restoration. It is based on 1987 Nobel Prize for Chemistry awardee Jean-Marie Lehn’s principles of supramolecular chemistry or electrospinning supramolecular polymers with the use of electric force to draw supramolecular polymer solutions into threads that measure a fraction of the diameter of a hair. Treading the same pathway of developing polymer-based heart treatments, researchers at the Ben-Gurion University (BGU) and Sheba Medical Centre in Israel developed a novel therapy to treat atherosclerosis, a condition characterised by the hardening and narrowing of the arteries. Endothelium is a thin layer of cells lining the arteries to keep them smooth and maintain blood flow. Smoking, high blood pressure and high levels of blood cholesterol are conditions that can damage the endothelium, leading to atherosclerosis or the abnormal build-up of plaque along the arteries. When endothelial cells experience inflammation, they produce a molecule called E-selectin, which brings white blood cells (monocytes) to the area and causes plaque accumulation in the arteries. BGU’s E-selectin-targeting polymer is said to reduce existing plaque and prevent further

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AUGUST 2017

A nanopolymer therapy for atherosclerosis is being developed by researchers at BGU

Patented and in preclinical stage, the new polymer has been tested on mice with positive results. In a study that has been submitted for publication, the researchers treated atherosclerotic mice with four injections of the new biomedical polymer and tested the change in their arteries after four weeks. The results showed that the myocardial function of the treated mice was greatly improved; there was less inflammation and a significant decrease in the thickness of the arteries. Experts at the Cardiovascular Research Institute of the Sheba Medical Centre and at Tel Aviv University suggested that this polymeric therapy can also be helpful to people with diabetes, hypertension and other age-related conditions. With positive turn out of studies, the team is seeking a pharmaceutical company to bring the polymer therapy through the next stages of drug development and for commercialisation.

PRA magazine August 2017 Digital Edition  
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