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Reports: Financial analysts say new cholesterol guidelines could mean lower use of still-experimental cholesterol-lowering biologics

Experimental drugs, called PCSK9 inhibitors, shown to significantly decrease cholesterol levels

NEW YORK — New cardiovascular health guidelines released this week could dampen the potential popularity of an up-and-coming class of cholesterol drugs, according to published reports.

Wall Street analysts, cited in news reports, said that the new American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology guidelines could result in lower uptake of an as-yet unapproved class of biologics known as PCSK9 inhibitors because they no longer establish specific cholesterol level targets as a goal and recommend broader use of statins, most of which are now available as generics, to reduce high-cholesterol risk.

One of the PCSK9 inhibitors is SAR236553/REGN727 (alirocumab), under development by Sanofi and Regeneron and currently in phase-3 clinical trials. The drugs work by targeting proprotein convertase subtilisin-kexin type 9, hence the name of the class. According to clinical trial results announced last month, alirocumab showed a significantly greater reduction in low-density lipoprotein "bad" cholesterol than ezetimibe, which Merck sells under the brand name Zetia.

 

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