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10 Jun 2013

Cholesterol-lowering drug shows promise in clinical trial

The drug could prove effective in populations of patients intolerant to statins.

A new cholesterol-lowering drug has shown promise in a phase 2a clinical trial, and plans to conduct the next stage of the experiment are already in motion.

Biopharmaceutical company Esperion Therapeutics tested its first-in-class oral low-density lipoprotein cholesterol-lowering medicine in a cohort of patients with hypercholesterolemia.

Approximately 2.6 million deaths per year are attributable to elevated cholesterol in the blood, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), showing that the market for drugs is large.

One of the main benefits of the ETC-1002 is that it has demonstrated the ability to reduce cholesterol levels in patients who have an intolerance to statins, the drugs typically prescribed.

It could therefore act as a safe alternative to a large group of patients, with trial results indicating cholesterol levels could be lowered by around 32 per cent.

Dr Paul D Thompson, of Hartford Hospital and the University of Connecticut said: "A well-tolerated medication that significantly lowers LDL-C could benefit this underserved patient population."

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