3 October 2018
USC’s Clinical Trials Centre has launched a trial of a medication that could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in people who do not respond well to standard cholesterol-lowering treatments like statins.
The centre will work with Buderim GP Dr Sue Thackwray to assess the investigational medicine that aims to lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in two ways – by inhibiting its production and by removing it directly from the body.
USC Clinical Trials Centre Director Lucas Litewka said the World Health Organisation listed cardiovascular disease as the number one cause of death globally, and high levels of LDL cholesterol were a major risk factor contributing to this statistic.
“While there are a number of drugs available to lower LDL cholesterol, some people react poorly to these therapies,” he said.
“These ‘statin-intolerant’ patients have an unmet need for therapeutic options to lower LDL cholesterol and reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease.”
Dr Thackwray said the trial represented a great step towards filling the gap in medical treatment for statin-intolerant patients.
“Patients with cardiovascular disease are at high risk of adverse cardiovascular events, such as a heart attack or stroke, and are usually on medications called statins, which reduce this risk by lowering their LDL cholesterol,” she said.
“While statins are highly effective in lowering LDL cholesterol, many patients are unable to tolerate them due to side effects. This study will focus on a new treatment to lower LDL cholesterol while avoiding these side effects, in particular those that are muscle-related.”
Adults between 18 and 85 years of age can take part in this study that will run for at least two years.
Patients interested in participating can go to usc.edu.au/trials or call (07) 5456 3797.