In recent years, biochemical and genetic studies have identified proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) as a major mediator of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c) levels and thereby a potential novel target for reducing risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). These observations led to the development of PCSK9 inhibitors, which lower LDL-c levels more than any other non-invasive lipid-lowering therapy presently available. The PCSK9 inhibitors furthest along in clinical trials are subcutaneously injected monoclonal antibodies. These PCSK9 inhibitors have demonstrated LDL-c-lowering efficacy with acceptable safety in phase III clinical trials and may offer a useful therapy in addition to maximally tolerated HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) in certain patient groups. Longer-term data are required to ensure sustained efficacy and safety of this new class of medications. This review provides an overview of the biology, genetics, development, and clinical trials of monoclonal antibodies designed to inhibit PCSK9.
- Coronary heart disease
- LDL cholesterol
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine