CAMBRIDGE, UK – PLAQUETEC LTD ('PlaqueTec'), the Cambridge-based company pioneering the development a biomarker-based approach to transform the understanding of coronary artery disease (CAD), the leading cause of death worldwide, announced today the appointment of Dr Tim Brears as chief executive.
24 September 2015: Dr Brears has many years' experience in the biopharmaceutical industry and was, until recently, Chief Executive of Xention Limited, a company he founded in 2002 and which has become a leader in the development of drugs for the control of atrial fibrillation. Prior to forming Xention, he was Chief Executive of Gendaq Limited, a gene-regulation company, which was acquired by Sangamo Biosciences in 2001. From 1993 to 1999 he was director of licensing at Ciba-Geigy (later Novartis) Agribusiness in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Tim graduated from Oxford University in 1983 and was awarded a PhD from Cambridge University in 1987. He subsequently held an EMBO post-doctoral fellowship at Rockefeller University, New York. He holds an MBA from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business and is a registered US patent agent.
PlaqueTec is capitalising on the lack of biomarkers available to inform the development of new cardiovascular drugs. Its proprietary technology can be used to assess the performance and potential differentiation of existing drugs, to facilitate the development of new drugs, to better understand mechanisms for the treatment of CAD, to develop patient-specific information and more accurately predict the risk of heart attack and to stratify target populations for specific drug therapies. The company's approach has been validated in two clinical studies to date.
Commenting on his appointment, Jon Moynihan, chairman of PlaqueTec and principal of Ipex Capital, PlaqueTec's major investor, said: 'We are delighted to have Tim on board. He brings significant experience in management and commercial development, and his background in the cardiovascular sector will be especially valuable to PlaqueTec'.
Tim Brears commented: 'PlaqueTec has a pioneering technology and is entering an exciting stage of its development as it starts to enter partnerships for its novel approach in coronary artery disease. I look forward to working with the PlaqueTec team, which has made tremendous progress in establishing the company as a leader in this area'.
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Notes to Editors
About PlaqueTec Ltd:
PlaqueTec was formed in 2008 as a spin out from PA Consulting, Melbourn, Cambridge. With funding from IPEX Capital, the company has invested in the development of the Liquid Biopsy System, a platform technology that enables unparalleled resolution of the processes that lead to coronary artery disease. Since 2012, PlaqueTec has validated its LBS device in two clinical studies and identified numerous biomarkers associated with CAD. It is now using these biomarkers to build a database of information to provide a better understanding of CAD that will facilitate the development and management of new therapies. The company's proprietary technology can be used to assess the performance and potential differentiation of existing drugs, to facilitate the development of new drugs, to better understand mechanisms for the treatment of CAD, to develop patient-specific information and more accurately predict the risk of heart attack and to stratify target populations for specific drug therapies. PlaqueTec's technology is protected by numerous patents filed in the major pharmaceutical territories. PlaqueTec has a strong network of leading scientific advisors and clinicians and, in particular, works in close partnership with Papworth Hospital where the company is located
For further information, please see http://www.plaquetec.com.
About coronary artery disease (CAD):
Coronary artery disease is the most common cause of death globally, and resulted in 8.14 million deaths in 2013. In 2010, CAD alone was projected to cost the US $109 billion including the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity. Cardiovascular disease, including CAD, claims more lives each year than the next four leading causes of death combined (cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, accidents, and diabetes mellitus).
CAD is the narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries, usually caused by atherosclerosis which is the build-up of cholesterol in fatty deposits (plaques) within the inner walls of the arteries. In addition to cholesterol, plaques also comprise other substances including inflammatory cells, cellular breakdown products, proteins and calcium. These plaques can restrict blood flow to the heart muscle by physically narrowing the artery or by causing abnormal artery function. Without an adequate blood supply, the heart becomes starved of oxygen and cause chest pain (angina). If blood supply to a portion of the heart muscle is cut off entirely, or if the energy demands of the heart become much greater than its blood supply, a heart attack (injury to the heart muscle) may occur.
Many of the plaque deposits within coronary arteries are soft on the inside with a hard fibrous 'cap' covering the outside. Rupture of the hard surface exposes the soft, fatty tissue inside, and this is followed by the aggregation of platelets which form blood clots (coronary thrombi) around the plaque. If the blood clots break apart, blood supply may be restored. In other cases, the blood clot may suddenly block the blood supply to the heart muscle (coronary occlusion), causing an acute coronary syndrome and potentially death.