Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of mortality in the western world, accounting for over 40% of total deaths each year.


Up to 70% of individuals who develop heart attacks have normal levels of cholesterol, a test widely recognised as an indicator of coronary artery disease, so it is clear other factors besides plasma lipids are involved in many forms of this disease.

The medical community recognises that there is a need for better indicators of CVD risk. The cost to monitor and treat patients suffering from CVD, including heart attacks and other cardiac events such as strokes is enormous. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the total financial cost of CVD and strokes in the US alone during 2001 was estimated at over $298 billion.

Most of our business in this product area is derived from our assays for the measurement of Homocysteine. Elevated blood levels of this amino acid are believed to be a causal influence on the development of CVD and the subsequent likelihood of MI as well as being linked with dementia, osteoporosis and diabetes.

Axis-Shield has proprietary technology for the measurement of Homocysteine by a number of different methods. Our immunoassay methods have led to partnerships with major global diagnostics providers such as Abbott Laboratories, Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics and IL to produce assays for this important marker under OEM arrangements. Our clinical chemistry detection technology is also available for a number of proprietary analysers from our network of exclusive partners worldwide. Our microwell plate method is the only CE-marked and FDA-approved ELISA method for measurement of this vital marker.

More information on Homocysteine can be found at