In the News: Research Points to New Possibility for Cholesterol Meds
Recently announced research from Aarhaus University in Denmark may be the first step in making key improvements to cholesterol-lowering medications.
As detailed in the World Pharma News story “Danish Discovery Can Pave the Way for More Effective Cholesterol Medicine,” the university’s researchers have uncovered how LDL receptors are broken down by PCSK9 — a harmful protein that is both formed by the presence of statins and interferes with statins’ effectiveness. The implication, the article notes, is that this knowledge could lead to the development of improved and more cost-effective PCSK9-inhibiting medications to enhance cholesterol treatment.
Without a method of inhibiting its presence, PCSK9 is captured by molecules in the liver, which results in the liver breaking down the LDL receptors necessary to fight bad cholesterol and prevent potential blood clots. The researchers say their discovery sheds more light on how this process occurs, potentially enabling the creation of medicines that more effectively inhibit the problematic protein and reduce cholesterol.
Current PCSK9 inhibitors are extremely costly and only prescribed to high-risk patients. The Danish researchers hope their results will support development of more affordable alternatives.
“The new discovery shows the potential for creating more effective PCSK9 inhibitors than those we have today, and more cheaply, so that they become accessible for many more people in line with statins," says Simon Glerup, associate professor at the Department of Biomedicine at Aarhus University.
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