Clemson University researchers published pre-clinical proof of reversing in lab animals the leading cause of cardiovascular events in chronic kidney disease, vascular calcification, by using advanced nanoparticle and antibody therapy. Results were published recently in Scientific Reports, a Nature publication. CKD is an epidemic globally and until now no one has reversed the calcification that kills most of its victims, especially those on dialysis. The team, led by Clemson University Professor Naren Vyavahare, who also serves as Elastrin Therapeutics’ Chief Science Officer, made the breakthrough by targeting a disease characteristic under-explored by researchers; degraded elastin. Degraded elastin in the arteries is one of the first signs of cardiovascular damage. It initiates a vicious cycle of chronic inflammation and calcification leading to heart disease. By targeting the damaged elastin, the team was able to reverse vascular calcification. The National Institutes of Health recently awarded $2.2 million in grant funding to Dr. Vyavahare’s lab at Clemson to continue the work. Elastrin Therapeutics is a startup spinoff resulting from the Clemson research and has an exclusive limited, non-commercial license and an exclusive option to a commercial license to develop the elastin targeting and anti-calcification therapy.
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