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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Iowa Researcher Leads Study on New Cholesterol Drug

A new study from lead investigator Dr. Jennifer Robinson, professor of epidemiology at the UI College of Public Health, shows that a cholesterol drug may also be able to reduce heart attacks and strokes. The study, designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Alirocumab and recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, indicates that the drug is effective at sharply reducing lipid levels and could reduce cardiovascular events by about half.

[Photo: Dr. Jennifer Robinson]

While the results from this study are positive, researchers caution that they are preliminary and that the study was not initially intended to assess the drug’s effectiveness in reducing strokes and heart attacks. Larger trials are underway to more fully assess the cardiovascular benefit and should be completed by 2017. According to Dr. Robinson, the results from this initial smaller study are quite encouraging and indicate that they are on the right track with development and testing.

Alirocumab inhibits the PCSK9 protein that helps regulate cholesterol. The 78-week trial involving 2,341 high-risk patients showed the drug reduced LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels by 62 percent.

To read the study in the New England Journal of Medicine