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Cholesterol lowering drug trials successful


12 Jan 2015

An experimental drug has been found to be effective in lowering cholesterol, even when given monthly instead of fortnightly.

Alirocumab was found to be successful at reducing levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C).

LDL-C is a fatty substance that accumulates in the walls of blood vessels, leading to serious health complications if its levels become too high in the body (hypercholesterolemia).
 
Alirocumab is an injectable drug that inhibits PCSK9, an enzyme responsible for LDL-C production.
 
Late trials of the drug showed with or without the use of statins (drugs also used to lower LDL-C), levels of cholesterol were still reduced when taking alirocumab.
 
Common side effects were: injection site reactions, nausea, fatigue and upper respiratory tract infections.
 
PSCK9 inhibitors are aimed at patients who are unable to lower their LDL-C levels with the use of statins or those who cannot tolerate statins.
 
The drug has been produced by Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.
 
The market for hypercholesterolemia is expected to be worth more than £25bn by 2017.


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