Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) encompasses a number of conditions such as coronary heart disease, stroke, arrhythmias, aneurysm and peripheral vascular disease amongst others. It is the leading cause of death worldwide, being responsible for 17.3 million deaths (31.5% of all deaths) in 2013.
Atherosclerosis is the leading cause of death from heart attack and stroke, contributing to 75% of deaths from CVD. Hypertension is a major risk factor for most CVDs and also for chronic kidney disease.
While the risk of developing a heart attack or stroke can be reduced through lifestyle modifications there is a great need for much more effective approaches to CVD prevention and treatment. For example, the aetiology of most cases of adult hypertension is unknown, treatment-resistant hypertension is common and this disease remains a public challenge. For stroke, there are no effective drug treatments besides clot lysis that must be administered within 4 1/2 hours, thus excluding approximately 90 % of victims. Across CVD indications, the failure rate of new drug candidates is high and there is a need to identify new biomarkers and develop improved and targeted treatments.
There is also a strong association between heart health/disease and kidney health/disease - most patients with kidney disease die from CVD and, on the other hand, kidney disease impacts in a major way on heart health. There is a high unmet need for treatments to prevent or slow progression of kidney diseases.