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Merck cholesterol drug reduces heart risk by 9% in study

PBR Staff Writer Published 30 August 2017

Merck’s cardiovascular treatment anacetrapib has reduced the risk of major coronary events in the REVEAL study.

Merck, along with the researchers in the clinical trial service unit at the University of Oxford, reported that anacetrapib has reduced the risk of major coronary events by 9% relative to placebo in the study of 30,449 patients with atherosclerotic vascular disease receiving LDL-C lowering treatment with atorvastatin.

REVEAL is a randomized evaluation of the effects of anacetrapib through lipid modification outcomes study. Anacetrapib is Merck’s investigational cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitor.

In the trial, the 30,449 adults with atherosclerotic vascular disease on study-mandated intensive atorvastatin therapy have been randomly assigned to secure either anacetrapib 100 mg once daily or matching placebo.

The primary evaluation was an intention-to-treat comparison among all randomized participants of the effect of anacetrapib on the composite of major coronary events, including occurrence of coronary death, myocardial infarction, or coronary revascularization.

According to the company, the addition of anacetrapib further reduced the mean level of non-HDL cholesterol and increased HDL cholesterol level at the study midpoint.

A 9% relative reduction in the risk major coronary events was observed during median follow-up of 4.1 years.

Merck Research Laboratories chief medical officer and clinical development head Dr Roy Baynes said: “Despite treatment advances in recent years, patients with cardiovascular disease remain at risk for cardiovascular events.

“We are pleased that adding anacetrapib to statin therapy resulted in a further reduction of major coronary events in REVEAL.

“This trial helps to advance our understanding of the effects of anacetrapib on cardiovascular risk, and we are grateful to the study leaders at Oxford, TIMI, the many investigators, and the thousands of patients who participated in this study for their efforts.”

Image: Merck’s anacetrapib has reduced the risk of major coronary events by 9% relative to placebo in REVEAL study. Photo: courtesy of jk1991 /