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Clinical efficacy and safety of evolocumab for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol reduction

Authors Henry C, Lyon R, Ling H

Received 21 October 2015

Accepted for publication 30 December 2015

Published 19 April 2016 Volume 2016:12 Pages 163—169

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/VHRM.S82387

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amudha Kadirvelu

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Daniel Duprez


Courtney A Henry, Ronald A Lyon, Hua Ling

Department of Pharmacy Practice, School of Pharmacy, Hampton University, Hampton, VA, USA

Abstract: Multiple categories of medications have been developed to manage lipid profiles and reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in patients with heart disease. However, currently marketed medications have not solved the problems associated with preventing and treating cardiovascular diseases completely. A substantial population of patients cannot take advantage of statin therapy due to statin intolerance, heart failure, or kidney hemodialysis, suggesting a need for additional effective agents to reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels. Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) was discovered in 2003 and subsequently emerged as a novel target for LDL-C-lowering therapy. Evolocumab is a fully human monoclonal immunoglobulin G2 (IgG2) directed against human PCSK9. By inactivating PCSK9, evolocumab upregulates LDL receptors causing increased catabolism of LDL-C and the consequent reduction of LDL-C levels in blood. Overall, evolocumab has had notable efficacy, with LDL-C reduction ranging from 53% to 75% in monotherapy and combination therapies, and is associated with minor adverse effects. However, studies regarding the ability of evolocumab to reduce mortality as well as long-term safety concerns are limited. The fact that the drug was introduced at a cost much higher than the existing medications and shows a low incremental mortality benefit suggests that many payers will consider evolocumab to have an unfavorable cost–benefit ratio.

Keywords: PCSK9, hyperlipidemia, evolocumab, LDL-C, familial hypercholesterolemia

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