An academia-industry collaboration, led by Arizona State University (ASU), is looking for protein biomarkers that could predict cardiovascular disease in people with type 2 diabetes. There are around 150 million people worldwide with type 2 diabetes, and it increases the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke, amongst other complications, with heart attack and stroke being the leading causes of death.
"There are no standard biomarkers to identify people with type 2 diabetes who are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease," said project leader Randy Nelson, director of the Molecular Biosignatures Analysis Unit at ASU's Biodesign Institute.
The $5 million, four-year project is led by ASU's Biodesign Institute and and sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK--part of the National Institutes of Health). Other collaborators in the project include Pfizer, the Phoenix VA Healthcare System and the University of Arizona's BIO5 Institute. The money comes from a fund that is designed to support scientists from different disciplines to work together on a common problem.
"We are looking to the project's team of experts in proteomics, drug development, biostatistics and clinical studies to advance the difficult search for markers that may be useful for both diagnosis and for assessing potential new drug therapies," said Salvatore Sechi, who oversees the project for the NIH's National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
Creating a panel of validated protein biomarkers could lead to a better understanding of the biology behind type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as better diagnostics and therapeutics.