Technology to determine a patient's response to aspirin therapy taken to prevent heart attacks

Corgenix Medical Corporation and AspirinWorks, today announced that together they have entered into a license agreement with McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, providing Corgenix and CCC exclusive rights to the propriety technology owned by McMaster for the development, manufacturing and marketing of innovative diagnostic tests specific to the pathway by which aspirin acts on platelets.

This technology has demonstrated the ability to assess an individual's relative risk for heart attack by measuring the person's degree of aspirin resistance.

The technology involves the measurement of a unique thromboxane metabolite, which removes the guesswork, allowing physicians to quantify the amount of the metabolite involved in aspirin resistance. Qualitative platelet function tests currently available are subject to multiple interferences. Once a physician measures a patient's response to aspirin, the dosage can be adjusted or alternative platelet therapy recommended.

Mamdouh Shoukri, Vice-President (Research and International Affairs) at McMaster University, said, "McMaster has long been committed not only to develop technology beneficial to the healthcare system, but to collaborate with outstanding commercial partners like Corgenix and AspirinWorks to ensure that our technology actually gets to the public. This technology for aspirin resistance, developed in our Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, is a ground-breaking discovery in the prevention of cardiovascular disease."

"Part of our mission as an academic teaching hospital is to advance health care through education and research," said Bill MacLeod, Vice-President, Research and Corporate Development at Hamilton Health Sciences. "This collaboration with our academic partner, McMaster University, is another example of how we are working together to move important clinical research out of the lab to make a difference to people and their health."

Jack Hirsh, MD, Professor Emeritus of Medicine at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster, one of the co-developers of the aspirin resistance technology, co-authored a 2002 study which demonstrated that patients taking aspirin with high levels of thromboxane in their urine had a risk of cardiovascular-related death that was 3.5 times as great as those on aspirin with the expected low therapeutic levels. "While medications to lower hypertension and cholesterol are tested through measurement of blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, aspirin has not been routinely monitored to see if it is truly protecting a patient against heart attack or stroke," said Dr. Hirsh. "Patients should be tested for aspirin resistance so we can determine if the aspirin is working and if it's not, increase the dosage and retest, or choose another anti-platelet therapy."

Atherothrombosis is the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 52% of all deaths. An estimated 56 million people worldwide died from atherothrombotic disease in 2000 (manifested as cardiovascular disease, ischemic heart disease and cerebrovascular disease). Atherothrombosis is also the leading cause of death in the US, in 1999 responsible for almost 1 million deaths and a contributing factor in 70% of all deaths. According to the most recent Centers for Disease Control computations, the probability at birth of eventually dying from major cardiovascular diseases is 47 percent, whereas the chance of dying from cancer is 22 percent.

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