WALTHAM, Mass., March 30, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BG Medicine, Inc. (Nasdaq:BGMD) today announced that it has entered into a research collaboration agreement with Boston Scientific Corporation, a leading medical device manufacturer, to study the role of galectin-3 as an aid in patient screening for cardiac-resynchronization therapy (CRT) using patient data from the MADIT-CRT study. The collaboration is designed to focus on better understanding the important MADIT-CRT patient population and whether galectin-3 can help identify patients who would derive the most benefit from CRT. This collaboration also involves using BG Medicine's biomarker discovery capabilities to identify other biomarkers that correlate to CRT treatment response.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently cleared the BG Medicine galectin-3 assay as an aid in assessing the prognosis of patients with chronic heart failure. Elevated galectin-3 levels are associated with an inherently progressive form of heart failure that is associated with an increased risk of hospitalization or death.
"Guidelines for CRT candidate selection are based on measures of current cardiac status, not on the basis of anticipated disease course," noted Pieter Muntendam, M.D., President and CEO of BG Medicine. "Elevated galectin-3 is associated with poor outcomes, and this collaboration aims to investigate the role galectin-3 can play in identifying those who stand to gain most by early use of CRTs."MADIT-CRT is the world's largest randomized CRT-D study of New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class I and II patients, with more than 1,800 patients enrolled at 110 centers worldwide. Results of the MADIT-CRT trial were published in the October 2009 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. About Heart Failure Heart failure is caused by a combination of factors involving structural changes that reduce blood flow and damage or overwork the heart muscle, so that it cannot circulate blood efficiently to meet the needs of other body organs. Heart failure may lead to serious medical complications and is a leading cause of death. According to the American Heart Association, heart failure affects an estimated 5.7 million Americans with 670,000 new diagnoses each year. The estimated direct and indirect cost of this condition in the U.S. is $39.2 billion annually.