New Studies on Role of Galectin-3 in Heart Failure Presented at ESC 2011


August 5, 2011

August 5, 2011 — BG Medicine Inc., a company specializing in novel, biomarker-based diagnostics, will present results from several studies utilizing its galectin-3 test at the upcoming European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress 2011. The conference will be held Aug. 27-31, in Paris, France.

The presentations will address four important topics related to galectin-3-mediated cardiac disease: (1) the role of galectin-3 in predicting patients' response to heart failure therapy for select drug classes; (2) the ability of galectin-3 to identify individuals at risk for cardiovascular events prior to their first diagnosis of heart failure; (3) the mechanism and role of galectin-3 in heart failure development; and (4) the opportunity to block galectin-3 using natural carbohydrate compounds and their effects on heart failure development.

"When we initiated the development of a galectin-3 diagnostic test, we postulated that galectin-3 could be responsible for a common and important form of cardiac disease that often leads to heart failure. If proven, we expected that patients with galectin-3-mediated heart failure may respond differently to certain drugs, they may be identified before heart failure is first clinically diagnosed, and the built-in ‘on-off switch’ on the galectin-3 protein could be manipulated to block its activity," commented Pieter Muntendam, M.D., president and CEO of BG Medicine. "It is exciting to see that the galectin-3 data support our expectations and that these new data will be presented at the ESC meeting."

In order to provide access to this important information, the company will also host an interactive webinar, "Role of Galectin-3 in Therapeutic and Cardiovascular Outcomes – Results from Leading Studies Presented at the European Society of Cardiology Annual Meeting," at 12 p.m. EDT (18:00 CEST) Aug. 30. The webinar can be accessed via Cardiocare Live, a virtual cardiology congress, presented by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and produced by PlatformQ.

The interactive format provides an opportunity for participants to communicate directly with the researchers who have conducted these studies.

The faculty will feature Bertram Pitt, M.D., FACC, professor of medicine emeritus, University of Michigan School of Medicine, division of cardiology; Lars Gullestad, M.D., Ph.D., professor in cardiology, Rikshospitalet University Hospital, department of cardiology; and Rudolf De Boer, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor in cardiology, University Medical Center Groningen. Pieter Muntendam, M.D., will moderate the session.

The program is sponsored by Abbott, Alere Inc., bioMérieux and Siemens. Further details regarding the webinar will be announced closer to the date.

Galectin-3 is a unique carbohydrate-binding lectin, or protein, that binds to carbohydrates called beta-galactosides. Galectin-3 has been implicated in a variety of biological processes important in the development and progression of heart failure, and is believed to be a primary mediator of progressive cardiac fibrosis (abnormal thickening and stiffening of the heart muscle) and adverse remodeling (changes in the structure of the heart).

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