By loading a chelation drug into a nano-sized homing device; which kills more people in the United States each year than breast or prostate cancer. When kidneys stop working properly; calcium builds up in artery tissue, leading to heart disease. Although nearly half a million Americans receive kidney dialysis; heart disease is the leading cause of death for people with chronic kidney disease.
“The findings are very exciting scientifically; but also for the thousands of patients who could potentially benefit from this technology one day. Chelation, a method of removing metals such as iron and lead from the body; been used experimentally for some people with heart disease. The therapy is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but the National Institutes of Health has sponsored two large-scale; multi-center studies using ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid; EDTA, like chelation therapy for people with heart disease.
EDTA infusion therapy
In clinical studies, EDTA is included in an infusion that circulates through the body; it’s systemic and non-specific. This method of chelation shown good results in improving heart function; especially in diabetic patients. But EDTA infusion therapy is arduous (it requires 40 infusions over a period of a year), and it can cause side effects; including depletion of calcium from the blood and from the bone.
A targeted approach is effective. Without kidney disease, they loaded nanoparticles with EDTA and special antibodies that recognize and latch onto damaged elastin to deliver the therapy directly to arterial sites damaged by calcification. Vyavahare’s team members describe how they developed an animal model that mimics a human’s chronic kidney disease.
NIH human trials and with EDTA
The treating with EDTA infusions like in the NIH human trials and with EDTA; enclosed in a nanoparticle coupled with an antibody that seeks out damaged elastin. The received the targeted therapy; calcium buildup was destroying without causing side effects. Moreover, the calcification did not come back up to four weeks after the last injection; even though other signs of chronic kidney disease were present.
Vyavahare and his co-authors wrote that in a previous study they showed that polyphenols, when delivered with nanoparticles, “regenerate degraded aortic elastin. Thus, there is an exciting opportunity of dual nanoparticle therapy to first remove calcium deposits using EDTA and then restore medial elastin layers with (polyphenols).”
The nanoparticle delivery technology has licensed by Elastin Therapeutics; He serves as chief science officer of the company. “With recent funding, we received from NIH to carry out more studies on understanding how the reversal of calcification works; Elastrin Therapeutics Inc. licensing this technology from Clemson University; they believe we would able to translate this approach for use in clinical trials within the next few years.