Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is among the leading causes of mortality worldwide, mostly due to the incidence of major acute cardiovascular events (MACE) such as stroke and myocardial infarction. The main underlying pathology of many CVDs is atherosclerosis, characterized by the build-up of so-called atherosclerotic plaques in the larger arteries. The development and progression of atherosclerosis often remains undetected until plaque rupture or erosion cause catastrophic clinical manifestations.

Currently, few biomarkers exist that are predictive for risk of MACE. Additionally, therapeutic options to reduce the risk of MACE on top of lipid-lowering therapy is limited. Novel biomarkers to diagnose patients at risk for these events, as well as the development of tailored preventive interventions, is therefore needed. 

The current treatment of CVD relies on risk factor management, and no treatments directly attacking disease-specific immune responses in the vessel wall are available. The B-specific consortium aims to classify and mitigate risk of CVD by generating novel types of genetic data and defining novel prognostic and therapeutic targets attained from our recent discovery of a specific B-cell subset. Based on these findings, B-specific aims to develop at least 1 proof-of concept therapy targeting specific B cells.