Cholesterol Significantly Reduced by Blocking Angiopoietin-like 3 Gene

HealthDay News — Two separate research groups say they’ve successfully reduced cholesterol in humans by using different methods to block the angiopoietin-like 3 (ANGPTL3) gene. The findings were published online in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Both treatments improve the body’s ability to break down cholesterol by targeting ANGPTL3, which normally restrains proteins involved in the breakdown of cholesterol, Frederick Dewey, MD, lead researcher of 1 of the trials, told HealthDay. He is senior director and head of translational genetics at the Regeneron Genetics Center in Tarrytown, NY

Evinacumab — an antibody-based therapy developed by Dewey and his team — reduced levels of triglycerides up to 76% and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol up to 23% in humans. The manufacturer of evinacumab, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, funded the study.

A new drug developed by Ionis Pharmaceuticals also led to across-the-board reductions in cholesterol, including up to 63.1% reductions in triglycerides and up to 32.9% reductions in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. The study was funded by Ionis Pharmaceuticals.

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  1. Dewey FE, Gusarova V, Dunbar RL, et al. Genetic and pharmacologic inactivation of ANGPTL3 and cardiovascular disease [published online May 24, 2017]. N Engl J Med. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1612790.
  2. Graham MJ, Lee RG, Brandt TA, et al. Cardiovascular and metabolic effects of ANGPTL3 antisense oligonucleotides [published online May 24, 2017]. N Engl J Med. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1701329.