Food and Drug Administration have approved new medication Repatha for the treatment of uncontrolled high cholesterol.
Repatha, developed by Amgen biopharmaceutical company, is the second drug approved in a new class of drugs known as PCSK9 inhibitors and it is recommended for those patients who are unable to get their low-density lipoprotein (LDL), so called bad cholesterol under control with current treatment regimes. The newly approved drug stops PCSK9 from reducing LDL receptor concentrations, leading to a reduction in LDL levels.
The approval comes a month after the FDA validated Sanofi and Regeneron’s PCSK9 inhibitor, Praluent. The drug is recommended for people with inherited forms of very high cholesterol and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, who require additional lowering of bad cholesterol.
Repatha, whose generic name is evolocumab, can reduce LDL by 54% to 77%, according to a study. LDL is a significant risk factor for myocardial infarction and cerebrovascular accident. Side effects may include flu, back pain, allergic reactions and upper respiratory tract infection.
Repatha is a monoclonal antibody that inhibits the activity of proprotein convertase substilisin type 9 (PCSK9), a protein that plays vital role in the regulation of plasma LDL levels. The protein promotes the low-density lipoprotein receptor degradation within hepatocytes and reduces the concentration of LDL receptors on the liver cell surface, resulting in increased LDL levels. In fact, the aforementioned protein lowers the liver’s ability to remove bad cholesterol from the blood.
“Repatha provides another treatment option in this new class of drugs for patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia or with known cardiovascular disease who have not been able to lower their LDL cholesterol enough with statins,” said Dr. John Jenkins.
Familial hypercholesterolemia is an inherited condition that causes high levels of LDL cholesterol. A high level of LDL in the blood is linked to cardiovascular disease, which is number one cause of death for both men and women worldwide. IMAGE/morningticker.com