Member Publications

Application of PCSK9 Inhibitors in Practice

Author: Michael Shapiro, DO, FASPC
Center for Preventive Cardiology
Knight Cardiovascular Institute
Oregon Health & Science University
Portland, OR

Although the discovery of proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) and development of therapeuticantagonists represent a major triumph of modernclinical medicine, efforts to implement PCSK9 inhibitors (PCSK9i) in patient care have been sobering. This practicalguide examines the barriers and opportunities for thesuccessful application of pharmacological inhibition of PCSK9 in clinical practice through introduction of a new model of care delivery—the PCSK9i clinic.

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Efficacy and Safety of Alirocumab Versus Ezetimibe Over 2 Years (from ODYSSEY COMBO II)

Author: Mahfouz El Shahawy, MD, MS, FASPC

The proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 inhibitor alirocumab has been shown to substantially reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). Demonstrating whether efficacy and safety are maintained over a long duration of exposure is vital for clinical decision-making. The COMBO II trial compared the efficacy and safety of alirocumab versus ezetimibe over 2 years. A prespecified first analysis was reported at 52 weeks. Here we report the final end-of-study data (on-treatment) and evaluate post hoc the safety profile with longer versus shorter duration of alirocumab exposure. Patients (n = 720) on maximally tolerated statin dose were treated with alirocumab (75/150 mg every 2 weeks) or ezetimibe (10 mg/day). Overall mean adherence for both treatment groups during the first and second year was >97%. At 2 years, LDL-C was reduced by 49% (alirocumab) versus 17% (ezetimibe; p <0.0001), and LDL-C <70 mg/dl was achieved by 73% of alirocumab-treated versus 40% of ezetimibe-treated patients. Overall safety was similar in both treatment groups at 2 years and during the first versus the second year. Local injection-site reactions were reported by 2.5% (alirocumab) versus 0.8% (ezetimibe) during the first year, and 0.2% versus 0.5% during the second year, indicating early occurrence during prolonged alirocumab exposure. Two consecutive calculated LDL-C values <25 mg/dl were observed in 28% of alirocumab-treated patients (vs 0.4% with ezetimibe). Persistent anti-drug antibody responses were observed in 1.3% (6 of 454) of alirocumab-treated versus 0.4% (1 of 231) of ezetimibe-treated patients. Neutralizing antibodies (that inhibit binding in vitro) were observed in 1.5% (7 of 454) of alirocumab-treated patients (0 with ezetimibe), mostly at isolated time points. Alirocumab sustained substantial LDL-C reductions and was well tolerated up to 2 years in the COMBO II trial.

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