Researchers on Sunday said that an experimental drug from Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals was found to have successfully cutting the cases of heart attacks and strokes by almost half after lowering cholesterol levels in the patients.
The experimental injectable medicine, alirocumab, belongs to a new class of cholesterol lowering drugs that lowers bad LDL cholesterol in a new technique.
The drug is also being developed by the rivals Amgen and Pfizer. According to the experts, the drug has the potential to fetch good profits for its developer. The drug is likely to reach the market next year.
According to the researchers, the findings of the clinical trial are non-conclusive as the study analysis was conducted retrospectively. The study, however, provided strong evidence suggesting that targeting upon a protein called PCSK9 could cut the cardiovascular risk in millions of people.
Experts say there is a need to get the drug confirmed in a much larger clinical trial so that its efficacy could be mapped in a broader perspective.
Meanwhile, Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals said that they had conducted nine big studies in July this year and their findings showed consistent reductions in the bad LDL cholesterol levels when alirocumab was taken.
The details of four clinical trials were presented before the researchers, health experts and medical scientists at the European Society of Cardiology annual meeting in Barcelona.
The encouraging results about the experimental drug alirocumab arrived following an interim safety analysis of one of the four studies that showed remarkable improvement in those patients who were given alirocumab. These study participants were found to be less prone to development of serious cardiovascular woes, including heart attack or cardiac arrest, poor cardiac death, stroke and chest pain requiring hospitalization.
The study, which is currently undeway, involves 2,341 patients. The study has been named Odyssey Long Term.
According to the researchers, so far the drug has showed remarkably positive result in the early stage of the study and it is expected to keep up with the good sign towards the conclusion too.
“To have this result emerge so quickly in this study is very encouraging,” said Jennifer Robinson, study leader and a cardiologist at the University of Iowa.
Researchers are optimistic that the study will conclude, as determined, early next year.