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Lipid-regulating drugs

PCSK9 inhibitors help patients reach cholesterol targets, review finds

Systematic review of data from more than 10,000 patients shows how anti-PCSK9 monoclonal antibodies can help patients achieve LDL-C targets as monotherapy or with statins.

Computer illustration of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and PCSK9 bound to receptors

Source: Maurizio de Angelis / Science Photo Library

Computer illustration of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) molecules (round) and molecules of the enzyme proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9, blue) bound to LDL receptor proteins (Y-shaped)

Many patients with hypercholesterolaemia do not achieve their recommended low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) target level despite treatment with statins.

In a systematic review, researchers looked at data from 21 phase III trials of the anti-PCSK9 monoclonal antibodies alirocumab and evolocumab for the treatment of hypercholesterolaemia. The data was from over 10,000 patients, most of whom received a PCSK9 inhibitor in addition to statins.

The team found that up to 87% of patients who received alirocumab and up to 98% who received evolocumab reached their LDL-C target when the antibodies were taken with statins, while 42–84% of patients who received antibodies as monotherapy achieved their LDL-C target.

Reporting in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology[1] (online, 4 October 2016), the researchers say the findings show that anti-PCSK9 antibodies can help patients with high cardiovascular risk achieve their LDL-C targets both as add-on therapy or as monotherapy for patients unable to tolerate statins.

Citation: Clinical Pharmacist DOI: 10.1211/CP.2016.20201897

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Supplementary images

  • Computer illustration of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and PCSK9 bound to receptors

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