New drug beats stains in lowering cholesterol
Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:42PM GMT
An experimental drug has found to be significantly effective in lowering cholesterol levels even better than statins and with few undesirable side effects.
REGN727 is a monoclonal antibody and works by blocking a protein and limiting the amount of LDL or bad cholesterol which liver cells remove from the blood stream.
According to the results of a 183-patient trial published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, a single injection of the medication dramatically lowered circulating LDL by 40 to 72 percent in a group of patients with high cholesterol levels.
This is while daily intake of the popular statins reduces LDL only by 40 to 50 percent.
The new medicine which acts through a natural pathway has found to cause less adverse reactions compared with statins. The most-frequent side effects were reactions at the injection site. One patient developed a skin rash and only 6 of the patients ended treatment early because of adverse events.
REGN727 which may require regular injections probably once a month can also be a good alternative for patients who cannot tolerate statins and other cholesterol-lowering drugs.
“About 5 to 10 percent of people can’t tolerate statins at all, and more can’t tolerate higher doses,” said lead author and director of the Metabolic and Atherosclerosis Research Center in Cincinnati Dr. Evan A. Stein. “It’s still early in development, but for them this is potentially a most promising alternative.”
Researchers said a longer study is needed to establish the long-term safety and effectiveness of the novel cholesterol-lowering medication.