Atherotech Says Detailed Cholesterol Test Can Help Doctors and Patients Choose Best Therapy

Friday, February 1, 2008 General News
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Jan. 31 Clinical trial results from anew cholesterol-fighting drug combination point to the need for more detailedcholesterol testing, including direct measurement of LDL and other lipids.That's according to Atherotech, a cardio-diagnostic company that has developedan expanded cholesterol test called the VAP (Vertical Auto Profile) test,which can help doctors and clinicians identify the best treatment options forpatients at risk of heart disease.

According to Atherotech Chief Medical Officer James Ehrlich, M.D., mediareports about recently released trials have now resulted in widespread concernand confusion about the general value of lipid lowering agents, particularlystatins, which play a critically important role in very high risk patients.Ehrlich pointed to a recent BusinessWeek article that raised multiplequestions about the role of statins in the prevention of coronary disease, thenation's top killer.

"Atherotech believes that precise physician decisions about lifelongmanagement of hypercholesterolemia can only be accomplished with a detailedprofiling of lipoprotein components," said Atherotech Chief Medical OfficerJames Ehrlich, M.D. "By identifying the patient's true risk and by detailinghis/her lipid profile with a VAP test, the physician can now successfullymodify risk and improve the lipid levels in a rational manner. Some patientsneed combination therapy while others are well treated with monotherapy(statins)."

Ehrlich explained that new drugs and therapies are still important toolsin helping individuals at risk to reach LDL goals, sometimes without statintherapy. However, he emphasized how we modify lipoprotein patterns may be moreimportant in decreasing the risk of heart attack and stroke than simplylowering LDL cholesterol alone.

Unlike standard cholesterol tests that only measure LDL (bad cholesterol),HDL (good cholesterol), and total cholesterol, Atherotech's VAP test( enables direct, accurate measurement of importantlipid subclasses and how they are transported and behave in the blood stream.

People who are already taking cholesterol lowering medication -- or have afamily history or an existing condition of diabetes, high blood pressure orheart disease -- are candidates for the comprehensive VAP test, which directlymeasures fifteen separate components of blood cholesterol, including theidentification of risk from lipid subclasses such as Lp(a), low HDL2 andsmall, dense LDL particles. These detailed measurements then allow thephysician or clinician to determine the best therapy for reducing a patient'srisk of heart attack and stroke.

The VAP Test is available nationwide.

About Atherotech, Inc.

Atherotech is a cardio-diagnostic company focusing on direct measurementof the comprehensive lipid panel using the company's VAP Technology.Specifically, VAP is a patented density gradient ultracentrifugation thatdirectly measures the cholesterol content of all lipids, components andsubclasses. The VAP test is the first cholesterol profile to comply withupdated National Cholesterol Education Program ATP III recommendations callingfor more accurate, direct low-density lipoprotein (LDL) measurement which isunaffected by triglycerides. Included in's list of "15 ways to LiveLonger" and named one of "Five Tests Worth Paying For" by the Wall StreetJournal, The VAP Cholesterol Test -- the new standard of care for patients atrisk for cardiovascular disease -- is available through national and regionaldiagnostic laboratories and is reimbursed by most payers as well as Medicare.For more information, visit

SOURCE Atherotech, Inc.

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