Cholesterol drug fails to improve heart health

 05 Apr 2016 - 8:13

Cholesterol drug fails to improve heart health

 

Washington: An experimental drug that greatly increases levels of "good" cholesterol has no effect on heart health, a comprehensive clinical trial found.
It is also a blow to patients who were hoping for an alternative because they cannot or will not take statins, which can cut low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or bad cholesterol.
The study involving more than 12,000 patients at high risk for serious cardiovascular problems found that evacetrapib had no benefits, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology conference in Chicago.
Manufacturer Eli Lilly stopped the trial in October when the drug was found to be ineffective but now experts have given a comprehensive explanation of what happened.
Two other drugs in the same class as evacetrapib, known as CETP inhibitors and designed to raise levels of HDL cholesterol high-density lipoprotein, the "good" type have also failed, presenting experts with a quandary.
On average, patients taking evacetrapib daily for at least 18 months lowered their LDL cholesterol by 37 percent and increased their HDL cholesterol high-density lipoprotein, the "good" type by 130 percent compared with patients taking a placebo.
However, there was no difference between the two groups in terms of the primary "endpoint" of the research including the amount of time until cardiovascular death, heart attack, stroke or coronary artery bypass surgery.
"As we close out the trial, we're trying to understand how a drug that seems to do all the right things in terms of blood cholesterol levels doesn't then translate into reducing clinical events," said lead author Professor Stephen Nicholls.

QNA