An experimental drug that lowers LDL "bad" cholesterol by helping sweep it from the bloodstream appears to be both safe and effective in its first human trial.
The drug known as ALN-PCS reduced cholesterol an average of 40 percent in the small, early study, and, if proven to work in large trials, potentially could replace or complement statins, the researchers said.
Currently, statin drugs such as Lipitor, Crestor and Zocor are widely used to control cholesterol. One heart doctor not involved with the new study said another class of drugs might be useful.
"Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death of men and women globally and reduction of LDL cholesterol with statin medications has been demonstrated to substantially reduce the risk of first or recurrent cardiovascular events," said Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles.