Our Solution for Cardiovascular Disease

The Problem

Cardiovascular diseases, including heart attack and stroke, are the leading causes of mortality in developed nations and by 2010, are projected to become the leading cause of mortality worldwide.

Current treatments are generally only able to halt the progression of plaque buildup in blood vessels, the cause of cardiovascular disease. However, a new class of drugs, most notably Apo AIMilano, has been shown to actually reduce plaque size.

Apo AI is the major protein associated with high density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good cholesterol”, whose function is to remove excess cholesterol from arteries. Based on clinical results, patients will require large doses of Apo AI or Apo AIMilano per treatment. High doses, combined with the millions of patients that could benefit from this treatment, creates an enormous potential demand for these compounds. Current production systems have critical manufacturing barriers and appear unable to meet this demand.

Our Solution

To solve the manufacturing and dosing challenges, SemBioSys is producing Apo AI and Apo AIMilano in genetically engineered safflower. We believe that plants may be the only cost-effective production vehicle for these life-saving drugs.

What We Have Accomplished

We have successfully achieved commercial levels of Apo AI and Apo AIMilanoaccumulation in safflower and have shown functionality using cell-based assays.

What We Are Working On

We are currently performing functional testing of our safflower-produced Apo AIMilano in an preclinical model, which we will compare to published values obtained with Apo AI that has been successfully used in human clinical trials.

We are seeking partnership with an industry leader in cardiovascular disease to drive the advanced development and commercialization of plant-derived Apo AI and Apo AIMilano.

“No one has ever seen anything like this… we thought HDL therapy would work, but that it would work in six weeks was something no one anticipated.”
– Dr. Bryan Brewer, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, on prior results of Apo AI for atherosclerosis