Monday, 24 July 2017

Amgen’s uncontrolled LDL cholesterol lowering drug available in Singapore

03 July 2017 | News | By BioSpectrum Bureau

Amgen's breakthrough treatment will help patients significantly reduce LDL cholesterol levels.

Singapore – Amgen, a US based biotechnology company, announced the availability of Repatha(evolocumab), the first PCSK9 inhibitor for lowering high cholesterol, in Singapore.

Repatha is a new class of drugs called proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitors. It is a fully human monoclonal antibody that inhibits PCSK9 from binding to low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptors. In the liver, this interaction enables our bodies to have more LDL receptors available to remove low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), or “bad” cholesterol, from the blood.

Elevated LDL-C is recognized as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). CVDs, such as heart disease and stroke, are Singapore’s leading cause of death, accounting for 1 in every 3 deaths in 2015. CVDs also result in steep direct and indirect costs for patients. The average medical cost for an acute stroke is over S$22,000, which is the equivalent of almost two months of an average Singaporean family’s income.

“While available treatments for other diseases are advancing in leaps and bounds, there hasn’t been much movement to address high cholesterol since the development of statin therapy in the late 1980s,” said Dr. Peter Yan Chee Hong, Consultant Cardiologist at Gleneagles Medical Centre. “Repatha provides a new treatment option for patients who experience side effects while on statin therapy or remain unable to control their cholesterol levels.”

Data from clinical trials demonstrated that Repatha resulted in up to 77% additional LDL-C reduction in patients receiving background statin therapy. “This is the first significant innovation in 30 years for cholesterol management, and we look forward to seeing how it will impact patient lives and help combat the rising burden of CVD,” said Raphael Ho, General Manager of Amgen Singapore.

Approved by the Health Sciences Authority, the cholesterol-lowering drug Repatha is indicated for:

  • The treatment of adults with primary hypercholesterolemia (heterozygous familial and non-familial) or mixed dyslipidemia, as an adjunct to diet:
    • In combination with a statin or statin with other lipid-lowering therapies in patients unable to reach LDL-C goals with the maximum tolerated dose of a statin, or
    • Alone or in combination with other lipid-lowering therapies in patients who are statin-intolerant, or for whom a statin is contraindicated.
  • The treatment of adults and adolescents aged 12 years and over with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia in combination with other lipid-lowering therapies.

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