Use of Adenosine Agonists to Prevent Arterial Vascular Calcification Disorder

Scientists at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have discovered a genetic defect in the Ecto-5’-nucleotidase (NT5E) gene which results in Cluster of Differentiation 73 (CD73) deficiency that leads to a decrease in adenosine, and ultimately, an increase in vascular calcification. NT5E encodes CD73, an enzyme that converts adenosine monophosphate (AMP) to adenosine in the extracellular region of the vascular endothelium. Normally, extracellular adenosine binds to one of the several receptors on the surface decreasing the production of cyclic AMP (cAMP) resulting in an inhibition of vascular calcification.

The discovery of this genetic mutation leading to a decrease in adenosine provides a method of treating or preventing the disorder by using adenosine receptor agonists as therapeutic agents. Adenosine receptor agonists can be used to treat or prevent disorders associated with vascular and/or joint capsule calcification, including for example atherosclerosis, Monkeberg’s medial sclerosis, CD74 deficiency, Ehlers Danlos syndrome (EDS), Marfan/Loewe Dietz syndrome, fibromuscular dysplasia, Kawasaki syndrome, pseudoxanthoma elasticum, and premature placental calcification.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Treatment for vascular calcification disorder by using adenosine receptor agonist agents.

Development Stage:


William Gahl (NHGRI)  ➽ more inventions...

Thomas Markello (NHGRI)  ➽ more inventions...

Shira Ziegler (NHGRI)  ➽ more inventions...

Manfred Boehm (NHLBI)  ➽ more inventions...

Cynthia Hillaire (NHLBI)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
US Pat: - issued -
PCT Application No. PCT/US2011/030493 filed on 2011-03-30
US Application No. 13/582,035 filed on 2012-08-30

St. Hilaire C, et al. PMID 21288095

Collaboration Opportunity:

The NHGRI is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize adenosine receptor agonist compounds for therapeutic use including as a treatment of certain common as well as rare vascular calcification-related disorders (see above Description of Invention). Please contact NHGRI Technology Development Coordinator Claire T. Driscoll at for more information.

Licensing Contact:
Eggerton Campbell, Ph.D.
Phone: 301-402-1648

OTT Reference No: E-094-2010-0
Updated: Mar 18, 2015