Looking into the Crystal Ball—Upcoming Drugs for Dyslipidemia

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Dyslipidaemia is a critical risk factor for the development of cardiovascular complications such as ischemic heart disease and stroke. Although statins are effective anti-dyslipidemic drugs, their usage is fraught with issues such as failure of adequate lipid control in 30% of cases and intolerance in select patients. The limited potential of other alternatives such as fibrates, bile acid sequestrants and niacin has spurred the search for novel drug molecules with better efficacy and safety. CETP inhibitors such as evacetrapib and anacetrapib have shown promise in raising HDL besides LDL lowering property. Microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP) inhibitors such as lomitapide and Apo CIII inhibitors such as mipomersen have recently been approved in Familial Hypercholesterolemia but experience in the non-familial setting is pretty much limited. One of the novel anti-dyslipidemic drugs which is greatly anticipated to make a mark in LDL-C control is the PCSK9 inhibitors. Some of the anti-dyslipidemic drugs which work by PCSK9 inhibition include evolocumab, alirocumab and ALN-PCS. Other approaches that are being given due consideration include farnesoid X receptor modulation and Lp-PLA2 inhibition. While it may not be an easy proposition to dismantle statins from their current position as a cholesterol reducing agent and as a drug to reduce coronary and cerebro-vascular atherosclerosis, our improved understanding of the disease and appropriate harnessing of resources using sound and robust technology could make rapid in-roads in our pursuit of the ideal anti-dyslipidemic drug.

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