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Esperion’s cholesterol-lowering pill works when statins fail

March 14, 2019 / Richard Staines

Cholesterol-lowering daily pill from US pharma Esperion, which can be used when statins are not working in high-risk patients, is edging closer to the market after a phase 3 trial success. The trial showed bempedoic acid significantly lowered “bad” LDL-cholesterol, and reduced the inflammation biomarker high-sensitivity C-reactive protein in high-risk patients with high LDL cholesterol levels, despite taking medication such as statins. Esperion’s international Study 1 tested the drug versus placebo in 2,230 high-risk patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) that was inadequately controlled with lipid-modifying therapies, including maximum doses of statins. The company has already filed bempedoic acid, and a combination pill with ezetimibe, with the FDA and European Medicines Agency. If approved, the drug could be a strong competitor to Sanofi and Amgen, whose injected PCSK9 inhibitor drugs Praluent and Repatha are used in patients with high cholest...