Source: Brian Wang

Underdog Pharma is developing disease-modifying treatments for atherosclerosis and other age-related diseases.

They want to prevent or reverse atherosclerosis by removing a harmful lipid known as 7-ketocholesterol (7KC) from the arterial walls.

Underdog has a molecule that can extract the oxidized waste from the body. It is a variant of cyclodextrin which is an existing drug that is already approved by the FDA and has a good safety profile.

They will take a classic pharmaceutical approach and use it to attack the root causes of cardiovascular disease. If this works they will be able to reverse heart and arterial disease.

About 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year–that’s 1 in every 4 deaths. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD), listed as the underlying cause of death, accounted for 840,678 deaths in the US in 2016, approximately 1 of every 3 deaths.

Cardiovascular diseases claim more lives each year than all forms of cancer and Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease combined.

Between 2013 and 2016, 121.5 million American adults had some form of cardiovascular disease.

Between 2014 and 2015, direct and indirect costs of total cardiovascular diseases and stroke were $351.2 billion ($213.8 billion in direct costs and $137.4 billion in lost productivity/mortality).

Cardiovascular disease is the leading global cause of death, accounting for more than 17.6 million deaths per year in 2016, a number that is expected to grow to more than 23.6 million by 2030, according to a 2014 study.

CVD and stroke accounted for 14% of total health expenditures in 2014-2015. This is more than any major diagnostic group.

Total direct medical costs of CVD are projected to increase to $749 billion in 2035, according to a
2016 study.