WALTHAM, Mass., Feb. 27, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BG Medicine, Inc. (Nasdaq:BGMD), a diagnostics company focused on the development and commercialization of novel cardiovascular tests, announced today the publication of two studies demonstrating the clinical utility of repeated galectin-3 testing as a tool in the assessment of patients with heart failure. The studies, which together involved more than 3,300 subjects, demonstrate that periodic evaluation of galectin-3 levels can help clinicians identify those at greater risk of unplanned hospital admission and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

The first study, published online ahead of print in the current issue of Circulation Heart Failure [1], demonstrated that patients who experienced increases in their galectin-3 levels in excess of 15% over a period of three to six months had nearly double the risk of subsequent unplanned hospital admissions and mortality relative to patients who did not experience changes in their galectin-3 levels over the same time period. This increased risk was found to be independent of other important risk factors in heart failure, including cardiac function, renal function, age, and levels of NT-proBNP.

The second study, published online ahead of print in the European Journal of Heart Failure [2], demonstrated that patients who experienced increases in galectin-3 levels over a period of four months were at significantly increased risk of subsequent unplanned hospital admissions for heart failure, first morbid event, and mortality. The increased risk associated with elevations in galectin-3 was found to be independent of all other baseline heart failure risk factors considered. Importantly, this increased risk associated with galectin-3 elevation was also demonstrated to be independent of, and additive to, concomitant changes in other important heart failure risk factors, including cardiac structure, renal function, blood pressure, heart rate, NT-proBNP levels, and other clinical patient parameters.

"We are very encouraged by these published results, which add to the growing body of evidence supporting the repeated use of galectin-3 testing as an ongoing monitoring tool in the management of patients with heart failure," said Eric Bouvier, President and CEO of BG Medicine. "We believe these findings validate our commercial focus on the use of galectin-3 testing to combat unplanned hospital readmissions, and will help us drive further clinical adoption of galectin-3 testing as a routine part of heart failure management."

The BGM Galectin-3® Test is cleared by the FDA as an aid in assessing the prognosis of patients with chronic heart failure, to be used in conjunction with clinical evaluation.

About Galectin-3 and Heart Failure

Galectin-3 is a unique carbohydrate-binding lectin, or protein, that binds to carbohydrates called beta-galactosides. Galectin-3 has been implicated in a variety of biological processes important in the development and progression of heart failure, and is believed to be a primary mediator of progressive cardiac fibrosis (abnormal thickening and stiffening of the heart muscle) and adverse remodeling (changes in the structure of the heart). Higher levels of galectin-3 are associated with a more aggressive form of heart failure and 30% or more of mild to moderate heart failure patients will have elevated levels of galectin-3. Heart failure affects an estimated 5.7 million Americans, with approximately 670,000 new cases occurring each year. The direct and indirect cost of heart failure in the United States for 2011 is estimated to be $34.4 billion [3,4].

About BG Medicine, Inc.

BG Medicine, Inc. (Nasdaq:BGMD) is a diagnostics company focused on the development and commercialization of novel cardiovascular tests to address significant unmet medical needs, improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs. The Company has two products: the BGM Galectin-3 ® test for use in patients with chronic heart failure is available in the United States and Europe; and the CardioSCORE™ test for the risk prediction of major cardiovascular events will be launched in Europe in the first half of 2013. For additional information about BG Medicine, heart failure and galectin-3 testing, please visit www.bg-medicine.com and www.galectin-3.com.

The BG Medicine Inc. logo is available at the following link: http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=10352.

Publication Details:

[1] van der Velde AR, Gullestad L, Ueland T, et al. Prognostic Value of Changes in Galectin-3 Levels Over Time in Patients with Heart Failure: Data from CORONA and COACH. Circ Heart Fail. 2013 (Published online February 8, 2013, doi: 10.1161/circheartfailure.112.000129).

[2] Anand IS, Rector TS, Kuskowski M, et al. Baseline and Serial Measurements of Galectin-3 in Patients with Heart Failure: Relationship to Prognosis and Effect of Treatment with Valsartan in the Val-HeFT. Eur J Heart Fail. 2013 (Published online January 4, 2013, doi:10.1093/eurjhf/hfs205).

[3] Roger VL, Go AS, Lloyd-Jones DM, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2012 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2012;125(1):e2–220.

[4] Heidenriech PA, Trogdon JG, Khavjou OA, et al. Forecasting the future of cardiovascular disease in the United States: a policy statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2011;123(8):933–44.
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