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Patients at high risk of recurrences of heart disease: Breakthrough in prevention

A clinical study directed by Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif of the Montreal Heart Institute confirms the potential of a medication to reduce inflammation in patients with atherosclerosis

Montreal, May 20, 2010 – The results of a major clinical study carried out at the Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) by Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif are now available in the journal Circulation Cardiovascular Imaging. Dr. Tardif is a cardiologist and director of the MHI Research Centre, as well as a professor in the faculty of medicine and holder of the atherosclerosis research chair at the Université de Montréal.

The promising findings of this study on VIA-2291 – a medication developed by Via Pharmaceuticals, a San Francisco-based biotechnology firm – relate to its capacity to effectively reduce inflammation, which can contribute to the formation and progression of atherosclerosis plaque and infarct.

"Up to now, standard treatments for patients with acute coronary syndrome (unstable angina and infarct) have not specifically reduced inflammation, an important component of atherosclerosis. However, research in recent years has allowed us to determine that the presence of inflammation significantly increases the risk of recurrence among these patients. The clinical study was conducted with about 200 patients, and the findings we're publishing show that VIA-2291 may finally offer the solution we need to target and reduce inflammation. In fact, these newly published data strongly support the evaluation of VIA-2291 in larger outcome trials," said Dr. Tardif.

The Montreal Heart Institute's Research Centre directed the study in several hospitals in Canada and the United States as well as analyzed all of the data, including data collected by CAT scans of coronary arteries.

"The publication of this new study attests once again to the excellence of the entire team at the Montreal Heart Institute's Research Centre. While we're clearly satisfied with the findings obtained with VIA-2291, we're even more thrilled at the prospect of taking a big step toward more effective and personalized prevention of cardiovascular disease," concluded Dr. Tardif.

About the Montreal Heart Institute

Founded in 1954 by Dr. Paul David, the Montreal Heart Institute constantly aims for the highest standards of excellence in the cardiovascular field through its leadership in prevention, ultra-specialized care, professionals training, clinical and fundamental research, and assessment of new technologies. The Institute is part of a vast network of excellence in health formed by the Université de Montréal and its affiliated institutions. To learn more about the Institute, please visit our website at

Rachel Ladouceur-Girard
Interim communications officer
Montreal Heart Institute
514-376-3330, extension 2641

Posted: May 2010