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Aug 29, 2015 06:40 AM EDT

Cholesterol lowering drug approved by FDA


The U.S Food and Drug Administration has granted approval to Repatha,  (evolocumab), the second drug in a potent class, PCSK9 inhibitors, approved to treat high cholesterol, Healthday reports.

The new drug, made by Amgen, is approved for people who are unable to reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol with therapy and exercise. LDL is the leading cause of heart disease, which is the cause of one in four deaths in the United States.

According to New York Times, Repatha will cost $14,000 per year.

Repatha, the second drug in ITS class to be approved for lowering cholesterol, is an antibody that targets the PCSK9 protein, which inhibits the liver's ability to remove LDL from the blood.

According to NY Times, currently two-thirds of people at high risk for heart disease  still do not have their high cholesterol under adequate control.

The drug has side effects that include nasal and throat inflammation, upper respiratory infection, flu and back pain.

In clinical trials, Repatha lowered levels of LDL in people already taking other drugs to lower their cholesterol levels. Some people in the clinical trials had their LDL drop to single digits.

The second drug approved in this category is Sanofi Regeneron's Praluent, that was approved last month by FDA.

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Tags Repatha, fda
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