Global Discovery Biosciences (GD Biosciences), Irvine, Calif, has announced plans to expand availability of its Puls cardiac test to several additional countries.

Recently made available in the United Kingdom, the test will now be accessible to patients in Canada, China, India, Indonesia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

The diagnostic blood test detects the body’s immune response to coronary artery injury in patients with no symptoms of heart disease.

The immune response frequently causes formation of unstable cardiac lesions in the coronary artery wall. The rupture of these lesions and formation of a blood clot at the site of the rupture is the most common cause of heart attacks. According to GD Biosciences, identifying these vulnerable patients before they have a heart attack can help physicians to improve patient care. The company’s test uses nine clinically significant protein biomarkers to measure the body’s immune system response to arterial injury leading to the formation of unstable cardiac lesions, the cause of 75% of all heart attacks.

Douglas S. Harrington, MD,  GD Biosciences.

Douglas S. Harrington, MD, GD Biosciences.

“The Puls cardiac test has become a critical tool for physicians to identify patients who may seem healthy. As one of my colleagues said, ‘We tend to focus too much on the structural defects in heart disease, and not enough on the functional defects,’” says Douglas S. Harrington, MD, CEO of GD Biosciences. “Damaged cholesterol causes injury to the coronary artery endothelium, but the body has the ability to repair this damage. In order to do so, it must receive a signal from the injury to activate the immune response and repair the damage. We detect the body’s immune response to this injury and predict the likelihood of a heart attack.”

Heart disease remains the leading cause of death and disability worldwide, but is 80% preventable with early detection and lifestyle modifications. A major issue for physicians is being able to detect the disease accurately, since most patients present with no signs or symptoms before a fatal or debilitating heart attack.

Numerous studies have shown that 50% of heart attack victims have normal cholesterol levels. Recently, the American Heart Association’s “Get with the Guidelines” revealed that more than 70% of patients with a first acute coronary syndrome (ACS) event were well within guideline targets for lipids.

GD Biosciences’ test can predict the likelihood patients will experience an ACS event within a 5-year period, allowing physicians to implement potentially life-saving prevention plans. The noninvasive blood test is reimbursed by most insurance providers.

For more information, visit GD Biosciences.