Israeli researchers have developed a new therapy to treat atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries) and prevent heart failure, using a new biomedical polymer that reduces arterial plaque and inflammation in the cardiovascular system.
Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease causes 56 million deaths annually worldwide, according to the 2015 Lancet Global Burden of Disease Report.
Arteries are lined by a thin layer of cells, the endothelium, which keep them toned and smooth and maintains blood flow. Atherosclerosis begins with damage to the endothelium, typically caused by high blood pressure, smoking or high cholesterol.
When endothelial cells become inflamed, they produce a molecule called E-selectin, which brings white blood cells (monocytes) to the area. That leads to dangerous plaque buildup in the arteries.
At present, there are several available treatment options for atherosclerosis, but no therapy can reverse arterial damage and improve the heart muscle. An innovative nano-polymer made in Israel shows promise in actually reducing arterial damage and improving the heart muscle.
“The new polymeric therapy may have life-changing benefits for millions of people.”
This E-selectin-targeting polymer selectively repairs damaged tissue without harming healthy tissue, so it has no side effects — unlike statins, which are currently the leading medication used for treating atherosclerosis.
Read More: Israel 21c