Evacetrapib: Another CETP Inhibitor for Dyslipidemia With No Clinical Benefit

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Evacetrapib is a cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitor that has been recently studied as a cholesterol modifying agent to reduce cardiovascular risk and mortality in high risk cardiovascular disease patients. Evacetrapib acts to decrease lipid exchange through CETP inhibition. CETP acts to transfer cholesteryl esters from high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) to low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL-C). HDL-C is involved in reverse cholesterol transport and its blood levels have been shown to be inversely correlated with cardiovascular risk. Thus, a pharmacologic agent that can elevate HDL-C has been seen as an exciting area of research. In recent studies, evacetrapib was shown to be safe and efficacious. It produced an increase in HDL-C up to 128% and a 35% decrease in LDL-C, in comparison to placebo. In addition, evacetrapib was also shown to be more potent than previous CETP inhibitors. HDL-C particles treated with evacetrapib remained functional and had improved cholesterol efflux. A previously studied CETP inhibitor, torcetrapib, exhibited side effects of hyperaldosteronism, manifesting in electrolyte disturbances, and hypertension. These detrimental effects were not seen with evacetrapib. Recently, the results of evacetrapib’s phase III ACCELERATE trial showed no significant reduction in major adverse cardiovascular events or mortality, and the drug will not be marketed. Although beneficial cholesterol effects were seen with this drug, more needs to be known to understand what role, if any, evacetrapib has in the reduction of cardiovascular risk.

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