Surgery News

Study shows experimental thyroid drug reduces cholesterol

April 21, 2016

In the current Phase II study, they reported that it was both safe and effective in lowering cholesterol. What is not known from this study is whether this lowering of cholesterol will ultimately protect patients from heart disease. Dr. Klein said he thinks it may work to reduce cardiovascular disease. "Every percentage that you lower cholesterol, you lower the risk for heart disease," he said. "High cholesterol is the single most modifiable risk factor." About one in three people have cholesterol levels that are higher than the national guidelines set by federal agencies.

Jens Kristensen, a scientist at Karo Bio and the lead author on the study, and his colleagues also found that the experimental medicine lowered a cholesterol product in the blood called lipoprotein A, which is damaging to the heart. There are no available medicines that lower lipoprotein A and Eprotirome lowered the levels by 33 percent.

Since cholesterol lowering is a surrogate marker for heart disease, the scientists will have to conduct other studies to test whether it does in fact reduce heart disease. The next phase of testing must include larger numbers of patients. If the results hold, it could ultimately be used as an alternative to statins. A small percentage of patients can't take statins, either because they don't work to lower cholesterol for them or they suffer from unrelenting side effects such as muscle pains, myopathy and tiredness.

Source: North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Health System