OTTAWA, Ontario - Pioneering work by Dan Sparks, a biophysicist at the Ottawa Heart Institute, has led to a new company, Liponex Inc., that intends to commercialize a therapy designed to effectively clear cholesterol from the body.

Sparks told BioWorld International that the risk for individuals to be affected by coronary artery disease (CAD) has been shown to be directly related to plasma LDL cholesterol levels. His research has discovered a specific compound, designated CRD5, that prevents cholesterol storage and accumulation in LDL.

Studies showed that the charge and thermodynamic stability of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) regulates interfacial interactions with different plasma proteins, the hepatic uptake and clearance of HDL sterol and the renal reabsorption of this lipoprotein in the kidney.

HDL, or "good cholesterol," is believed to protect against the development of coronary artery disease. Its protective abilities may be linked to the role this lipoprotein plays in the transport and clearance of cholesterol from the body. CRD5 is designed to effect physiochemical changes in specific metabolic pathways involved in eliminating waste products and toxins from the body. This prevents LDL cholesterol build-up and reduces the rate of atherosclerosis in blood vessels.

While Liponex initially will develop CRD5 as a therapy to lower blood and tissue cholesterol levels, Sparks said the technology could lead to other applications such as promoting the clearance of viral and bacterial toxins.