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Media, News & Topics on prevention, diagnosis & treatment of cardiovascular disease
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Scooped by Seth Bilazarian, MD
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What is PCSK9?

What is PCSK9? | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it
Watch a video to learn more about the PCSK9 pathway
Seth Bilazarian, MD's insight:

The current best cholesterol lowering medicine we have are the statins.  These medicines like Lipitor (atorvastatin), Crestor (rosuvastatin) and sImvastatin lower LDL (bad cholesterol) by 30 - 50%.  For some patients with very high levels of LDL this is not low enough.  For other patients the statin medicines cannot be tolerated most commonly because of the side effect of muscle aches.  In both situations an alternative to statins is needed.

The PCSK9 inhibitors are an exciting next step that MIGHT prove to be the next big thing.   Studies are now ongoing in the US to test whether these medicines are safe over the long term AND whether the lowering of LDL that they provide (about 50%) also results in lower cardiovascular event rates for patients (less heart attacks and strokes).  The FDA is considering whether to approve these drugs this year before these trials are completed.

This is an excellent video explaining our current understanding of how these medicines lower the LDL level measured in patient's blood.  Stay tuned!

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Scooped by Seth Bilazarian, MD
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New Drug lowers LDL: PCSK9i might be the next stains

New Drug lowers LDL: PCSK9i might be the next stains | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

A new injectable drug can further knock down cholesterol levels in people who take cholesterol-busting statin medications, according to the results of a global trial.

People taking the new therapy alongside statins enjoyed a 63 - 75% decrease in their "bad" (LDL) cholesterol levels, on top of the reduction caused by the traditional statin medications. This drug enhances the body's natural way of reducing LDL levels in the bloodstream. Cells primarily located in the liver contain receptors that target LDL cholesterol and remove it from the bloodstream. But the liver also produces a regulatory protein called PCSK9 that binds to and breaks down these receptors, The antibodies in the tested drug, evolocumab are designed to intercept PCSK9, preventing the protein from breaking down the cells' LDL receptors, which allows them to stay in circulation longer to remove LDL cholesterol.

Seth Bilazarian, MD's insight:

We have good evidence of this drugs safety and effectiveness in lowering LDL for short term, but we do not yet have data on longer term safety or the more important effectiveness measurement of preventing heart attack, strokes and death.  The large triail called FOURIER is enrolling to assess this.  Check out http://fourierstudy.com for info.

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