Cardiovascular diseases, particularly myocardial ischemia, are the leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. A novel methodology has been developed for the specific quantification of ApoJ-Glyc levels, which have been found to decrease within the first 6 hours after the onset of the ischemic pain, due to the lack of enough blood supply to the heart. This would represent an important advance in cardiovascular medicine, not only for the early diagnosis and management of myocardial ischemia, but also for the identification of those patients more prone to suffer complications or even dying, thus having an added prognostic value.
- Improving the early diagnosis, triage, risk stratification, and prognosis of patients with myocardial ischemia.
Problem to Solve
Myocardial ischemia, a common heart disease, affects about 50% of the population according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The lack of an early, specific and sensitive diagnosis of acute chest pain due to an ischemic cardiac problem represents an unmet clinical need because of the high percentage of admissions at the emergency room due to non-cardiac problems with similar symptoms (respiratory or muscular pathologies among others).
The development of a device for the rapid and specific measurement of glycosylated Apo J (Apo J-Glyc) plasma levels would allow the reduction of the elapsed time between event onset and decision making, speeding up the management of patients, improving their prognosis, and reducing the associated economic costs. This project is aimed to obtain a novel sensitive and reproducible methodology for the rapid and specific quantification of ApoJ-Glyc levels as an indicator (biomarker) for the diagnosis and risk stratification of patients with myocardial ischemia previous to the irreversible damage or necrosis of the myocardium. This novel biomarker and the methodology for its measurement would represent a clear medical and technical advance. The economical and social impact of the present project will be high as this device will be the first in an area for a disease that affects over 50% of the population.
Level of InnovationDespite several Point-of-Care devices have been developed worldwide in order to obtain a tool for the early detection of myocardial ischemia, none of them has shown to be able to detect the ischemic event within the first 6 hours. Moreover, these POC devices have too many failures to detect the ischemic event (false negatives) to be considered reliable to apply them in the emergency clinical practice. The standard techniques used for the measurement of biomarkers are usually directed to determine total protein levels. However, the importance of proteins in a disease is not only through their quantity but also through their structure and/or chemical modifications. Specifically, monitoring changes in serum glycoproteins, such as ApoJ-Glyc, may be a more specific and sensitive approach than the analysis of total protein levels. Nowadays, most of the methodological approaches available for glycoprotein analysis are qualitative methods that do not allow the quantification of glycoproteins. On the other hand, the available methodologies for glycoprotein quantification are too complex and expensive to be used in diagnosis.