New drug class holds promise for LDL-C

In two trials of evolocumab (Repatha, Amgen) presented at the American College of Cardiology meeting in San Diego, California, over the weekend, patients taking the agent plus the standard therapy of a statin reduced their LDL-C by 61% after 11 months of use compared to a statin alone.

Participants in the intervention arm were also 50% less likely to experience an adverse cardiac event – such as MI, heart failure requiring hospitalisation, or death – over the course of the trials, the investigators said.

The experimental agent is a new class of drug that inhibits proprotein convertase subtilisin-kexin type 9 (PCSK9) and is one of three such experimental PCSK9 inhibitor drugs now in trials, including alirocumab (Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals) and bococizumab (Pfizer).

Researchers studied 4465 patients who were in one of 12 phase II or phase III trials examining the drug’s cholesterol-lowering properties.