Published December 1, 2015
“These drugs are important because they provide a significant drop in LDL, the bad cholesterol, without the myalgia, or muscle pain, seen in a subset of the population who takes statin drugs.”
The PCSK9 inhibitors are the first drugs most cardiac patients will have to learn to inject, notes Fernandez, a cardiologist in UBMD, the physician practice plan of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
The injection method is similar to that of diabetes drugs, but patients only need to inject these drugs once every two or four weeks.
Fernandez is a site investigator at UB's Clinical and Translational Science Institute, which is part of an international, multicenter study involving a total of 27,000 patients taking evolocumab, one of the PCSK9 inhibitors.
Researchers will investigate the long-term benefits of taking evolocumab along with the currently available optimal medical therapy.
Amgen, which makes evolocumab, is funding the study.
The safety profile of the PCSK9 inhibitors has been excellent so far, Fernandez says, emphasizing that long-term studies such as the one at UB will help researchers assess any unexpected side effects.