Gruthan Bioscience to develop new class of cholesterol-lowering drugs

Gruthan Bioscience, LLC, a Medical University of South Carolina startup based in Charleston, South Carolina, received a Small Business technology Transfer (STTR) award from the National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute in August to take the next step in developing a novel class of cholesterol-lowering drugs to treat familial hypercholesterolemia.

The startup was founded by liver researcher Stephen Duncan, Ph.D., SmartState Chair in Regenerative Medicine and chairman of the Department of Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology at MUSC.

Patients with familial hypercholesterolemia have very high levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), colloquially known as “bad cholesterol.” The receptor that should bind to the cholesterol and remove it from the blood is mutated and no longer functions.

A subset of these patients inherit mutations in the LDL receptor from both parents and are at high risk of developing severe and deadly cardiovascular disease

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