New therapy shows promise in lowering bad cholesterol

The Victorian Heart Institute (VHI) at Monash University has led a trial of a new novel therapy that was found to lower levels of bad cholesterol by 50 per cent when used in conjunction with existing prescribed medications, providing another potential option for clinicians in the fight against heart disease.

The results of the phase 2 Randomised study of Obicetrapib as an Adjunct to Statin Therapy (ROSE trial) were presented today at the 2021 American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions by Professor Stephen Nicholls, Director of the VHI and Professor of Cardiology, Monash University.

The trial, undertaken at multiple sites across the United States, involved 120 participants already on statin therapy.

With a median age of 60 years of age, the results showed those receiving 10mg of obicetrapib, a new cholesterol-lowering agent in development, saw a reduction of bad cholesterol levels (LDL-c) of 50 per cent.

High cholesterol, a problem impacting over 1.5 million Australians, leads to fatty deposits building up in blood vessels increasing the risk of heart disease or stroke, one of the world’s greatest health challenges.

Professor Nicholls says the Victorian Heart Institute is focused on exploring novel approaches and new therapies that translate to measurable change in the rates of heart disease in Australia and beyond.

“Currently, the most commonly used medications are statins, but many patients still have cholesterol levels that remain too high, while other patients are unable to tolerate them,” Professor Nicholls said.

“The results of the ROSE trial are encouraging as a potential new treatment option for clinicians and patients. “Now we know the drug is well-tolerated by patients, we will conduct further trials involving larger cohorts of patients.”

The ROSE trial was funded by NewAmsterdam Pharma (NAP) who are developing obicetrapib as an adjunct to maximally tolerated statin therapy, in a fixed-dose combination with ezetimibe and as a monotherapy.