National Institutes of Health awards Elucid Bioimaging 2nd year of SBIR grant “vascuCAP: Non-invasive Computer-Aided Phenotyping of Vasculopathy.

June 6, 2016

National Institutes of Health awards Elucid Bioimaging SBIR grant to establish vascuCAP as fit for use in both personalized medicine as well as drug development. August 2015 Elucid Bioimaging is pleased to be in receipt of a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant award notice from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the NIH for evaluation of its product vascuCAP. Vasculopathy encompasses a group of vascular diseases, which includes atherosclerosis, a major disease with enormous societal impact. Atherosclerosis is implicated in many cardiovascular diseases including myocardial infarction, peripheral vascular disease, and stroke. Approaches have been proposed for improving diagnostics, where inconclusive or misleading information can lead to under- and over-treatment. Additionally, better biomarkers are needed for use in developing more effective drugs for vasculopathies. Arterial stenosis as a biomarker is a poor predictor of events, yet it remains in common use. This burdens care providers with high misclassification rates. Elucid Bioimaging’s vascuCAP (CAP stands for Computer Aided Phenotyping) processes magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and/or computed tomography (CT), both of which are routinely used in vascular diagnostics. CAP aids the clinician with a multifactorial quantitative imaging biomarker panel of specific, biologically-objective, and continuous-valued measurements such as distribution of lipid core and other determinants of lesion phenotype and severity. Recognizing the pros and cons of different imaging modalities with respect to any given patient’s needs, vascuCAP is developed as a multi-modality analysis capability that maximizes the information content from whatever modality is available for that patient, whether CT (which is fast and generally leads to the most accurate measurements of structure but which utilizes ionizing radiation) or MR (which is currently most capable of measuring composition, avoids ionizing radiation, but takes more time to acquire). Our primary goal is to improve patient management by aiding therapeutic decision-making for both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients by combining the vascuCAP analysis of vascular imaging with the other objective patient data, i.e. clinical chemistry and other blood biomarkers. It may also be used to improve speed and efficiency in developing new therapeutics. We have recently completed feasibility studies in both animal models as well as human atherosclerosis that serve as the scientific rationale for the proposed study. Building on the foundational development made possible in part by National Science Foundation awards, this NIH grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute deepens our commitment to clinical studies in the peripheral arteries and extends our animal studies to a more comprehensive evaluation of systemic atherosclerosis at multiple arterial sites including coronary arteries with multiple modalities in the same experimental subject to provide an increasingly rich reference truth standard, further validating vascuCAP as a flexible and comprehensive tool for the management of patients.