A vaccine developed by researchers to lower bad cholesterol or LDL bypassing statins has entered the clinical stage as it proved successful in mice and macaques.
The vaccine works by targeting PCSK9, a protein that controls the levels of cholesterol in the blood and people with PCSK9 mutations face an increased risk for cardiovascular or heart diseases.
“One of the most exciting things about this new vaccine is it seems to be much more effective than statins alone,” said Bryce Chackerian of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.
Though statins are generally prescribed to ward off bad cholesterol, in many people it has side effects and they do not work for every individual, said researchers.
Hence the new vaccine will be more effective, said Dr. Alan Remaley, another tema member that developed the vaccine. “The results of our vaccine were very striking, and suggest it could be a powerful new treatment for high cholesterol,” she said.