Roche, Artery Therapeutics to develop atherosclerosis prevention drug

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Roche and Artery Therapeutics, a biotechnology company based in San Francisco, are collaborating to develop ApoA-I peptide mimetics for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Artery said its compound, AT5261, or Artpep, is currently in pre-clinical development for the treatment of atherosclerosis and secondary prevention of cardiovascular events in patients who have suffered a heart attack or stroke. According to the Basel, Switzerland-based Roche, ApoA-I is a component of HDL particles which transport cholesterol from the periphery to the liver where it will be removed into the bile.

“We will be studying this product to see if it can help to slow down the deposition of cholesterol into atherosclerotic plaques as well as shrink existing plaques, which may in turn reduce the risk of further heart attacks,” said Gianni Gromo, head of Roche’s metabolic disease therapy unit.

Under the terms of the agreement, Roche and Artery will jointly develop the compound until the end of phase I, when Roche has an option to fully acquire the rights.