London, Nov 15 (IANS) Harmful cholesterol could be reduced by 64 percent with a single injection. It could potentially be used for those who don’t respond well to statins, a class of drugs used to lower cholestrol levels.
The jab, tested in humans for the first time, lowered the level of so called bad cholesterol by 64 percent as compared with a placebo.
Bad cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein, can cause blockage of the arteries and raise the risk of heart disease or a stroke, the Telegraph reported.
Although the jab is several years away from the market, it could one day be used as an alternative treatment for patients who do not respond well to other treatments like statins.
Results from the preliminary study on 54 men and two women aged 18 to 45 were presented to researchers at an American Heart Association (AHA) conference on Monday.
ASA spokeperson Robert Eckel said: “We have got substantial evidence that lowering cholesterol is beneficial. The problem is that a lot of people need more than one drug to do it.”
If the treatment proves safe and effective in future trials, it would probably be used as an addition to current treatments, he said.
Clapton Dias, who led the research, said that at the highest dose level, the effect lasted about one month before cholesterol started returning to previous levels, while at lower doses the change was shorter.
A second study in which patients were given more than one injection at either biweekly or monthly intervals has not been fully completed but suggests the effects can be maintained, he added.
“Statins will remain the first line of treatment but there is a significant need for more treatments even though statins are effective,” Clapton said.