For the past 30 years, the medical treatment of choice has been statins but those drugs aren’t always effective for everyone with cholesterol issues. But an entirely new class of drugs currently in development is set to change things.
According to researchers, it could drastically reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
The new drug, Alirocumab, can be used in conjunction with statins for an added boost or as an alternative to those who cannot take them, says Dr. Gordon Frances from the Providence Heart and Lung Institute.
In a recent clinical study of 2,338 patients, who were at risk of high cholesterol or suffering a heart attack or stroke, results showed that Alirocumab taken in combination with statins reduced LDL by an additional 40 to 50 per cent.
The drug’s inhibitors target the protein that prevents the liver from take the LDL out of the bloodstream. By lowering the protein in the body, it results in lowering the LDL. Some are calling it the “pac-man drug” due to its nature of gobbling up the protein.
Other benefits include a reduction in side effects.
Although Dr. Frances says it’s an exciting time, it will be at least three years before the self-injectable antibody will be ready to go to market. And when it does, it will be expensive.