Millions of people take daily statin pills to cut their cholesterol. Coming this year, a “ground-breaking” large-scale clinical trial will offer NHS patients a new form of medicine—gene silencing—in an injection called inclisiran. The NHS Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, believes up to 30,000 lives during the next decade could be saved—the UK’s Department of Health and Social Care could prevent 55,000 heart attacks and strokes annually.
What is the new drug?
Inclisiran “silences” the PCSK9 gene. Inclisiran can make the live absorb more “bad” cholesterol from the blood and break it down. The first gene-silencing medication was approved for NHS use last year for a relatively rare disease—hereditary transthyretin-mediated amyloidosis. Developed by The Medicines Company, which licensed the rights to the drug from Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. The Medicines Company is being acquired by Novartis.
Clinical trials conducted by the Imperial College of London reveal that inclisiran can cut bad cholesterol levels in half within weeks. The study was led by professor Kausik Ray who believes that the investigational treatment could cut bad cholesterol.
Professor Kausik Ray, Imperial College London