Cholesterol Drugs Haunted By Ghosts Of Past, Present, And Future

October 2, 2014 7:33 PM

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The Lancet yesterday published the results of two new studies showing that Amgen’s evolocumab was effective in reducing LDL cholesterol in patients with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), a genetic disposition to high LDL cholesterol levels. In Rutherford-2, injections of evolocumab in people with heterozygous FH resulted in impressive 60% reductions in their LDL levels compared with placebo. In Tesla Part B, people with the more severe and much rarer form of homozygous FH had a 31% reduction in LDL compared with placebo. Patients in both trials were also taking standard lipid-lowering therapies, including statins and ezetimibe.

These results should come as little surprise to anyone who has been following the development of the PCSK9s. There is now an abundance of trials showing that evolocumab and its rival, Sanofi’s and Regeneron’s alirocumab, are extraordinarily effective at reducing LDL in a wide variety of patient gro...

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