Biotech firm Amgen has developed a new drug that could help address cardiovascular diseases, the main cause of death in Mexico, said Max Saráchaga, Medical Director of Amgen, as he introduced Evolocumab to Mexico Health Summit 2016.
Evolocumab is an anti-cholesterol treatment that targets a protein associated with high levels of LDL or “bad cholesterol.” The medicine is composed of a monoclonal antibody that inhibits the protein PCSK9, which regulates LDL. Saráchaga said this innovative drug has high potential to fight one of the biggest public health concerns in Mexico: dyslipidemia, a metabolic disorder caused by the increase of cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood.
The drug is recently available in Mexico and was tested in two trials: Open-Label Study of Long-Term Evaluation against LDL Cholesterol 1 (OSLER-1) and OSLER 2. Both trials looked at long-term data on safety, LDL reduction and side effects.
Saráchaga said a decrease of bad cholesterol is evident 12 weeks after starting use of the drug. “For patients with dyslipidemia the ideal level of LDL is very hard to reach but this is now possible with biotechnology.”
Evolcumab also helps raise good cholesterol, better known as HDL, Saráchaga said. “It is already proven that Evolocumab reduces lipids that cause cardiovascular diseases.”
The most recent results also show the drug is lowering the frequency of heart attacks, strokes and the number of procedures used to fight cardiac events, he said.
Contributed article by Camilla Del Villar