Apheresis, a process where a patient’s blood is filtered to remove low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), may become less necessary in the future, according to a press release from Amgen.
The company recently released Phase III clinical trial findings that show its Repatha, a medication delivered via injection, can make it less likely for patients suffering from high LDL-C levels to need blood-filtering treatments.
Apheresis is seen as a treatment for severe cases of high LDL-C, which normally responds to statin drugs, the release said. Approximately 60 facilities across the country offer the treatment, requiring periodic and time-consuming trips for the up to three-hour sessions.
"Patients who require apheresis to help control their LDL-C have limited treatment options and face the daunting challenge of frequent, invasive and costly procedures,"
Dr. Sean E. Harper, Amgen’s executive vice president of research and development, said in the release. "These positive data suggest patients may have an alternative option to help them manage their cholesterol."
The study tracked responses among nearly 40 adults whose LDL_C readings hadn’t responded to cholesterol-lowering pills or blood filtering. So far, Repatha is authorized for use in the United States, Canada, European Union and Japan.
Amgen’s Repatha may help patients with tough cases of high cholesterol