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New revolutionary heart disease treatment

Researchers from Cambridge Theranostics Limited have found a way of modifying lycopene molecules so they can be readily absorbed into the human body with their new compound, Ateronon

Researchers from Cambridge Theranostics Limited (CTL), a biotech spin-out company of Cambridge University, have found a way of modifying lycopene molecules so they can be readily absorbed into the human body with their new compound, Ateronon.

Ateronon is a clinically proven natural supplement for the inhibition of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol oxidation – a leading cause of atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes. It was developed by Cambridge scientists and is considered a breakthrough in the treatment of heart disease related illnesses.

The Ateronon formulation combines lycopene with milk and soy-based proteins to produce a much smaller and more bio-available molecule. Early studies have shown that a daily dose of Ateronon can inhibit the oxidation of LDL cholesterol by over 90 per cent. Inhibiting LDL oxidation helps to prevent the development of plaque in the arteries, which - in turn - can improve circulation and reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke to almost zero within eight weeks.

Trials involving 150 people with heart disease were made public for the first time at the British Cardiovascular Society annual conference in London on June 1.

Although cholesterol puts people at risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke, half of all heart attacks and three quarters of all strokes occur in people who do not have raised cholesterol. Large-scale studies of Ateronon are being undertaken at Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge and at Harvard Medical School, with the expectation that they will demonstrate how the reduction of LDL oxidation translates into improved heart and circulatory health, and improved survival rates. The study is built on research originally carried out by the multi-national food giant Nestle, who were looking for a way to capture the therapeutic benefits of the tomato-derived compound lycopene.

Dr Gunter Schmidt, a biologist and chief executive of CTL, said: "We are extremely excited about Ateronon. We have 10 worldwide patents recognising its efficacy, but we want its capabilities to be taken very seriously by clinicians as well. We don't want it dismissed as just another food supplement."

After its launch to doctors this month, Ateronon will be made available direct to consumers through high street pharmacists from July onwards.

Ateronon can be taken alongside cholesterol lowering statins.

1st June 2009

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