POSSIBLE NEW CHOLESTEROL “MIRACLE DRUG”?
Some of us live with tremendous hope that technology and drugs will lead us out of the darkness and suffering associated with obesity related disease. Adding to that hope was a recent study examining and experimental drug called Anacetrapib, which appears to markedly lower bad cholesterol while raising good cholesterol.
The study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, was led by Dr. Christopher Cannon out of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and carries a great deal of credibility. The drug showed unexpectedly striking reductions of the LDL cholesterol while HDL rose. After six months, the study reported that the LDL fell from an average of 81 down to 45 for the test subjects who were taking the new drug, whereas those given the placebo saw an insignificant drop from 82 to 77. At the same time, the HDL-the good cholesterol- rose from 41 to 101 for those on the study drug, but changed from 40-46 on the placebo.
It is probably a couple of years before Anacetrapib might be widely available on the market. And as we’ve learned from countless other drugs, sometimes serious side effects do not become evident until years later. Nonetheless, this drug looks promising and more studies will continue to accrue.
The real exciting data will come if and when the studies can show a reduction in cardiovascular health events and deaths. That may take time, but appears likely given these marked changes in the LDL and HDL.
Perhaps combinations of drugs will continue to emerge that not only reduce the late stage consequences of obesity, but perhaps help with obesity itself. In other blog discussions I have talked about emerging and experimental pharmaceuticals and we’ll revisit this topic again periodically.