WALTHAM, Mass. and RICHMOND, Va., March 24, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BG Medicine, Inc. (Nasdaq:BGMD) and Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc. (HDL, Inc.), announced today an agreement under which HDL, Inc. will offer galectin-3 testing services based on the BG Medicine Galectin-3 Test. The BG Medicine Galectin-3 Test was recently cleared by the FDA 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. Galectin-3 has been implicated in a variety of biological processes important in heart failure development and progression, including fibrosis. Progressive cardiac fibrosis interferes with the cardiac pump function and increases the risk of death. The collaboration between BG Medicine and HDL, Inc. provides physicians with convenient access to galectin-3 testing to complement the range of cardiovascular tests already offered by HDL, Inc. "HDL, Inc. is providing a new model of laboratory testing services to over 5,000 physicians with an emphasis on markers related to cardiovascular disease," said Pieter Muntendam, MD, President and CEO of BG Medicine. "The cardiovascular focus of HDL, Inc. makes this an excellent partnership to bring our message of the importance of galectin-3 in cardiac disease to the growing number physicians served by HDL, Inc." Heart failure is a serious medical condition characterized by the heart's inability to pump blood efficiently to meet the requirements of the body's other organs. According to the American Heart Association, heart failure affects an estimated 5.8 million Americans with 670,000 new diagnoses each year. The estimated direct and indirect cost of this condition in the US is $39.2 billion. "Galectin-3 further enhances our extensive cardiovascular disease offering," said Tonya Mallory, CEO and co-founder of Virginia-headquartered HDL, Inc. "Novel markers like galectin-3 are expected to enable a new medical model where physicians can triage patients not only based on their clinical status on the day of the visit, but also based on the type of underlying disease process and its prognostic implications."