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Endothelial Dysfunction: A Drug Opportunity as Big as All Heart Disease

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

Less than 50% of coronary artery disease is attributable to the known risk factors-such as smoking, obesity, diabetes, family history of heart disease, and high cholesterol. That's why researchers and companies are beginning to take a close look at endothelial dysfunction, a disorder of the lining of the arteries that causes vessels to fail to expand normally in response to increased blood flow. Endothelial dysfunction is widely recognized in the clinical community as the earliest detectable harbinger of heart disease, one that would help physicians address patients before they have their first heart attack or stroke. But even more than that, many now see the disorder as a reversible condition that should be treated in its own right, to avoid the future deadly consequences of chronic inflammation, clot formation, plaque deposition, or plaque rupture. Because it's still early days for the field, Endomatrix Inc. has chosen a combination nutraceutical/pharmaceutical development path. It is getting early clinical experience in patients by testing and commercializing a proprietary dietary supplement, while at the same time developing new drugs that target endothelial dysfunction.

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