A drug containing muvalapline could reduce a certain type of “bad cholesterol” by 65% and thus limit the risk of cardiovascular disease, suggests an Australian study.
An orally administered medicine containing the active substance”muvalapline” could significantly reduce the rate of “bad cholesterol” and thus reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseasesindicate the results of an Australian phase 1 clinical trial presented at the congress of the European Society of Cardiology in Amsterdam and published on August 28, 2023 in the JAMA Network magazine. In detail, muvalapline – molecule contained in this medication – would be able to reduce the level of lipoprotein A, abbreviated Lp(a), a protein which has a structure close to LDL cholesterol but whose particularity is to be stickier than LDLthereby increasing the risk of obstruction and blood clot in the arteries. Also, unlike LDL cholesterol, lipoprotein A is difficult to control through diet, physical exercise, lifestyle or taking medications such as statins.
“This drug is a game changer”
To achieve these results, the researchers administered muvalapline orally for 14 days to 89 healthy people and a placebo to 25 patients, also healthy. At the end of their experiment, muvalapline demonstrated an impressive capacity to reduce lipoprotein A levels in patients in the first group by almost 65%. “Although Lp(a) was discovered almost 60 years ago, there is still no widely accessible treatment to lower levels. This drug is a game changer: not only do we have an option to reduce an elusive form of cholesterolbut being able to deliver it in oral tablet form means that it will be more accessible to patients“, indicated Professor Stephen Nicholls, cardiologist and lead author of the study in a statement from August 29. The drug, which is of course not yet marketed, will now be tested in larger clinical trials.
1 in 5 people worldwide have high levels of Lp(a)
Excessive amounts of lipoprotein A in the body can cause health problems and constitutes a risk factor for cardiovascular disease : this favors the presence ofatherosclerosis (deposits of plaques mainly composed of fats on the walls of the arteries) which can lead to a heart attackheart failure, peripheral arterial disease or a cerebral vascular accident. The level of lipoprotein A is 80 to 90% genetic, assures The European Familial Hypercholesterolaemia Patient Network. It is estimated that 1 in 5 people worldwide have elevated levels of Lp(a). Men and women are equally likely to have genes expressing high levels of Lp(a). And usually, there are no symptoms indicating elevated Lp(a) levels before the development of cardiovascular disease.