Partners explore precision medicine approach to heart disease  

Precision medicine

PlaqueTec and the Welch research group at the Babraham Institute have announced the completion of their collaboration to evaluate lead compounds predicted to bind a pro-inflammatory protein discovered by PlaqueTec. 

The project was funded by the UKRI-BBSRC Campus Innovation Award (CIA), via the Babraham Research Campus Collaboration Fund in October 2023. 

The collaborators, led by Dr Heidi Welch, tested the pro-inflammatory protein in a human cell culture model, demonstrating its potential to be targeted by small molecule drugs. This could open new opportunities for a precision medicine approach to heart disease.  

The target is now being evaluated as part of PlaqueTec’s ongoing BIOPATTERN trial and, if validated, further development will be pursued. 

Dr Simon Williams, General Manager, PlaqueTec, commented: “The successful completion of our latest collaboration with the Babraham Institute is an encouraging demonstration that new disease-specific targets identified by PlaqueTec have the potential to be modifiable by small molecule drugs. As we continue our BIOPATTERN trial, we are confident that our unique approach to endotyping CAD will pave the way for a new era of precision medicine for millions of patients with the disease.” 

Dr Heidi Welch, Associate Group Leader, Signalling Research Programme at the Babraham Institute, added: “Our work is focused on the molecular mechanisms that control a specific family of proteins, particularly in inflammatory cells, and we are delighted to have leveraged this expertise in an early phase target discovery and development project with PlaqueTec for its recently discovered pro-inflammatory protein target.” 

In February 2022, PlaqueTec was awarded Innovate UK Business Growth funding to collaborate with Medicines Discovery Catapult to work on a pilot project aimed at identifying novel drug targets in CAD. This data formed the basis for the current CIA-funded project. 

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