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Potential treatment for arterial stiffening

last modified Jul 10, 2019 12:59 PM

Professor Melinda Duer (Chemistry) and collaborators at King's College London have identified the mechanism behind hardening of the arteries, and shown in animal studies that a generic medication normally used to treat acne could be an effective treatment for the condition. The study is published in the journal Cell Reports.

There is no current treatment for hardening of the arteries, which is caused by build-up of bone-like calcium deposits. The build-up leads to stiffening of the arteries and restricting blood flow to organs and tissues, and is associated with dementia, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.

The team found that poly(ADP ribose), or PAR, a molecule normally associated with DNA repair, also drives the bone-like calcification of arteries.

Additionally, using rats with chronic kidney disease, the researchers found that minocycline – a widely-prescribed antibiotic often used to treat acne – could treat hardening of the arteries by preventing the build-up of calcium in the circulatory system.

The technology has been patented and has been licensed to Cycle Pharmaceuticals by Cambridge Enterprise, the University’s commercialisation arm. The researchers are hoping to carry out a proof of principle trial in patients in the next 12 to 18 months.

This is a shorter version of the story first published on the University's Research website. You can read the original news here.


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