Lowering 'bad' low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) is highly effective for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. For this purpose, the monoclonal antibody Alirocumab was newly developed against proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9), which was identified due to its physiological function and the observed correlation between PCSK9-gene polymorphisms and reduced LDL cholesterol levels. In a recent trial, Alirocumab was shown to be highly effective as a sustained reduction in LDL-C levels of more than 60 percent was achieved compared to placebo (p<.001). These findings are specifically relevant for patients with intolerance to conventional statins or for patients who respond insufficiently. However, providing Alirocumab to every patient who would benefit will make it financially unachievable. Therefore, the drug's costs will have to be reduced substantially and further studies evaluating cost-effectiveness in the long run are required.
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