BioDati: It’s all about Me and My Heart! Personalized Medicine for Cardiovascular Disease

By the time it takes to read this blog, 6 people will have died in the US from cardiovascular disease; not only is it deadly, but it’s also expensive — costing the United States about $219 billion [1]. Furthermore, heart disease is the №1 killer of women, killing more women than all forms of cancer combined. Precision medicine (PM) has catapulted yesterday’s cardiovascular research enabling its use in today’s identification of numerous potential targets for drug discovery and development that will work best for specific patients at risk for cardiovascular disease. The range of diverse responses of individual patients to standard treatments is on the rise. The current trend in PM is to improve the accuracy of current biomarkers, companion diagnostics and prognostics markers to guide the targeted delivery of therapies to treat and manage metabolic disorders, such as hypertension and heart disease. Cardiovascular disease progression is often slow, potentially spanning decades and impacts a very large population of individuals. The initiatives to offer precision medicine as a preventative strategy to address risk factors and early intervention therapy is greatly impactful.

The maturation of molecular medicine methods has exponentially provided very large detailed precise “omic” datasets as it relates to disease progression and potential insight into precise treatment. Genomics data is generated with genetic testing and sequencing and can be arranged by providers for patients with clinical diagnoses for which the likelihood of a genetic cause or risk is high or for patients for whom the appropriateness of a specific treatment is being evaluated, i.e. pharmacogenetics. Additionally, **the rise in direct-to-consumer genetic testing services (23andMe, MyHeritage, ancestryDNA) provides customers with reports of genetic predispositions to certain health-related topics. To date, the analysis of the human genome has led to the discovery of genetic variants associated with cardiovascular conditions, including hypertension and coronary heart disease. [2] The assumption being there is a genetic component to the disease and in principle, the data may help forecast the risk to an individual based on their genetic data. The other application of pharmacogenetics is applying the guidance to a choice of therapeutic interventions. For example, genetic data can identify patients who are unlikely to respond to statin-therapy, have decreased efficacy, or are at risk of adverse side effects from therapy. Genomic data is obtainable and interpretable. Combined with factors beyond the DNA sequence; epigenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics data; doctors are finding it possible to intervene and address those at risk of cardiovascular disorders.

The ramp-up of “omics” data over the last decade has moved far beyond the once electronic notebooks at the bench to web-accessible public biological knowledge databases. But how do clinicians and researchers use such large volumes of data to bring personalized medicine to you, the individual? The American Heart Association’s Precision Cardiovascular Medicine platform with a $5 million partnership initiative with Amazon’s cloud computing division, is providing grants to fuel new innovation and discovery with those conducting research in the field of cardiovascular research. The AHA’s Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine [3] is using enormous amounts of patient data — everything from a person’s genes to their environment and lifestyle — to find personalized approaches to prevent and treat heart disease and stroke. This is just one platform engaged to help people live longer healthier lives. At BioDati, we are working with the same AHA goal in mind. We provide the platform to turn large massive datasets into computable knowledge for all researchers alike so they can find personal therapeutic approaches to help millions of people live longer and healthier lives.

  1. Heron, M. Deaths: Leading causes for 2017 pdf icon[PDF — 3 M]. National Vital Statistics Reports;68(6). Accessed November 19, 2019.

  2. Currie G., Delles C. (2018) Precision Medicine and Personalized Medicine in Cardiovascular Disease. In: Kerkhof P., Miller V. (eds) Sex-Specific Analysis of Cardiovascular Function. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, vol 1065.

  3. For more information