BIRMINGHAM — Atherotech, Inc., a pioneer in cardiodiagnostic cholesterol testing technology, announced today that it is adding a highly accurate determination of apolipoprotein B (apo B) to its VAP® (Vertical Auto Profile) Expanded Cholesterol Test at no additional cost. Currently, the VAP Test directly measures total cholesterol, low-density and high-density lipoproteins (LDL, and HDL with its important subclasses) while satisfying the recommendations of the NCEP ATP III panel by reporting emerging risk factors, residual risk parameters and secondary targets of therapy including non-HDL cholesterol levels.
Apo B is widely considered to be equivalent to total atherogenic particle number, providing clinically significant additional information in characterizing patient risk and guiding medical therapeutic decisions. Apo B has been shown to be superior to LDL cholesterol in predicting cardiovascular events and following the progression of vascular disease in several well-conducted prospective studies. Importantly, apo B reflects “residual risk” more accurately before and after treatment than other currently available biomarkers, including LDL. It is considered to be especially valuable in hypertriglyceridemic and insulin-resistant states where LDL levels would be falsely reassuring and not representative of true particle burden.
Today, at the annual meeting of the American Association of Clinical Chemistry, Atherotech scientist Dr. Kris Kulkarni presented research conducted by Kulkarni and French revealing the extraordinary accuracy and high correlation of VAP-based calculated apo B to direct measurements (r=0.96, N=1797). The investigators were successful in their stated objective “to develop a formula to calculate apo B utilizing the Vertical Auto Profile (VAP) method so as to eliminate additional costs to the patients.” As such, including apo B in the VAP report effectively eliminates the need to order and pay for a separate LDL particle number test. Atherotech is currently making available apo B quantification in order to assist clinicians in coronary risk assessment and lipid management. VAP calculated apo B is also attractive to the patient as it remains accurate in both fasting and non-fasting samples, independent of their triglycerides, while the price of the VAP Test will remain unchanged.
Academic lipidologists worldwide have recognized the need for apo B to be more fully represented in national guidelines in Europe and North America and incorporated into clinical practice, but have acknowledged the associated costs and limitation of laboratory availability. As a clinical and research biomarker, apo B is considered to be far more credible and useful than any other way of displaying particle number (e.g., values based upon magnetic spin characteristics). According to McGill University’s Dr. Allan Sniderman, a highly regarded cholesterol expert, “Apo B is the most important modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease…. not to measure apo B amounts to second class care for the number one cause of death in our society.”
States Atherotech’s chief medical officer, Dr. James Ehrlich, “Our company has a tradition of being responsive to the evolving needs of both the physician and research community while complying with the recommendations of our national expert guidelines. We are committed to providing the physician with credible data of extraordinary accuracy and utility while accommodating patient and payor demand for cost-effective laboratory testing. Especially now, in an era when metabolic syndrome, diabetes and other insulin resistant conditions are extremely prevalent, there is great interest and need for apo B in all laboratory reports– an accurate depiction of total particle number that is highly respected internationally. Not only is the provision of an accurate apo B at no additional cost a reflection of our service philosophy and value proposition, it is a testimony to the value of Atherotech’s most important assets–the VAP Technology and the capabilities of our scientists and staff in developing clinically useful products.”
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, killing more than 1 million people each year. Atherotech’s VAP Cholesterol Test—the new standard of care for patients at risk for cardiovascular disease—helps clinicians improve the detection, evaluation, and treatment of patients at risk for heart disease. The test is available through national and regional diagnostic laboratories.
Atherotech is a medical technology company focused on developing a comprehensive line of cardiodiagnostic products based on the company’s proprietary VAP Test technology. The company is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at http://www.atherotech.com.