Health / Lab News

Reducing LDL Cholesterol by inhibiting PCSK9

Reducing LDL Cholesterol by inhibiting PCSK9 According to the British Heart Foundation, half the UK population suffers with high levels of cholesterol (classified as 5mmol/l or above) (1). High cholesterol brings with it many associated problems including heart disease and strokes which are in the UK’s top three causes of death each year. Statins are currently prescribed to manage a patient’s cholesterol level; however side effects are often experienced (3).

A previous study had investigated an alternative method of reducing LDL cholesterol by inhibiting PCSK9 using the drug evolocumab. Researchers analysed a population of 1,359 patients across four phase II studies that were dosed with evolocumab plus standard of care vs standard of care alone for one year in a ratio of 2:1. It was concluded that evolocumab was safe to use and well tolerated. With researchers noting “PCSK9 inhibitors are evolving as a novel and exciting class of medications that significantly reduces LDL cholesterol. Patients with conditions like diabetes may greatly benefit from these treatments; particularly many of them [who] are unable to achieve their LDL targets or have difficulty with statin-associated side-effects”.

This new study further analysed the impact that treatment had on glucose metabolism. In a subset of patients with metabolic perturbations, LDL reduction percentages were found to be as follows:

1.    109 patients with type II diabetes: 47% LDL reduction
2.    134 with impaired fasting glucose: 51% LDL reduction
3.    425 with metabolic syndrome: 52% LDL reduction

Some of above patients had one or more condition

Further to the above, LDL reductions the PCSK9 inhibitor was associated with improvements relative to standard of care in levels of HDL, triglycerides and lipoprotein (a) that were similar to what has been seen in in trial patients who did not have these conditions. There was also no notable change associated with fasting plasma glucose or glycated haemoglobin levels relative to standard of care.

When comparing the combined evolocumab group and the standard of care group, the rates of adverse events and serious adverse events were essentially the same (78% compared with 72% and 8% and 6%). Rates of serious laboratory abnormalities such as marked elevation of creatine kinase were low and similar as well.

References:

1. British Heart Foundation

2. NHS Choices

3. Heart UK

4. Family Practice News

5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24255061

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The Randox Research division offers a unique lipid profile which combines conventional lipid assays with emerging biomarkers associated with cardiovascular disease. Further to this Randox has numerous multiplex arrays that can be used within cardiovascular studies including, a range of Cytokine Arrays, Cerebral Arrays, an Adhesion Molecule array, two Metabolic Syndrome Arrays, and three molecular diagnostic arrays of Familial Hypercholesterolemia, Cardiac Risk Prediction as well as a Hypertension array. For more information see Cardiovascular Research Solutions Brochure or e-mail: research@randox.com.

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