New cholesterol drug alirocumab halved number of heart attacks and strokes

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An experimental cholesterol-lowering drug from Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals roughly halved the number of heart attacks and strokes in a clinical trial, revealed by researchers at the European Society of Cardiology yearly gathering in Barcelona.

The result is not conclusive, as the analysis was done retrospectively, but it provides the first evidence that targeting a protein known as PCSK9 could cut cardiovascular dangers for a great many patients.

The injectable medication, alirocumab, is from a new class of medicines, which are also being developed by Amgen and Pfizer. These medicines lower “bad” LDL cholesterol in a new way and are widely expected to reap multibillion-dollar sales.

The finding is likely to get good response about the drug, which could reach the market next year, although experts said it still required to be confirmed in a bigger trial.

The encouraging data of the study is showing patients on alirocumab were less prone to get cardiovascular events, including cardiac death, heart attack, stroke and chest pain requiring hospitalisation.


The ongoing 2,341 – patient study, called Odyssey Long Term, is expected to conclude early next year however researchers said the early indication of efficacy is clearly positive.

Source: Sanofi, USA

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