Lycotec Ltd, a biotech company based in Cambridge UK, is raising funds to undertake a phase II clinical trial which would target cholesterol crystals.

These crystals are one of the main causes of the rupture of atherosclerotic plaques. After breaking the cap of a vulnerable plaque, the crystals protrude into the lumen of coronary or carotid arteries and trigger clotting, which in turn blocks the blood supply to the heart or brain. This sequence of events clinically manifests as a heart attack or an ischemic stroke.

Due to significant advances in the treatment of atherosclerosis by using statins, and now anti-inflammatory therapies, there is a steady improvement in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, CVD. However, a worldwide epidemic of obesity is contributing to a steady increase in mortality from these diseases. 28 million people had an ischemic stroke in 2016, making this form of CVD the second cause of global mortality after heart attack. 17 million people died from cardiovascular diseases, which was about one third of all 54 million deaths that year.

The critical role of cholesterol crystals in atherosclerotic plaque rupture has been known for a long time. However, to date there are no drugs which can target the crystals, either to stop or slow down their growth or to help to dissolve them. After several years of research, Lycotec has recently filed a patent application on a group of compounds which can do this.  These are safe to humans and one of them has already successfully passed formulation optimisation and pharmacokinetic development in phase I clinical trial on patients with CVD.

On 25thof April Dr Ivan Petyaev, the inventor and CEO of the company, is going to present Lycotec’s pipeline of pharmaceutical products at Biotrinity 2018 in London.  (more information)

This conference is a gathering of biotech, pharmaceutical and investment companies. Lycotec will be as asking for partnership to join its quest, to help to finance and undertake a phase II clinical trial, to target the deadliest pathological structures in the human body – cholesterol crystals.

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