Baylor College of Medicine studying new cholesterol treatments
Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine are currently studying new cholesterol treatments, including a genetic therapy, according to a press release from the school.
"There are those who can't tolerate high dosages of statins because of adverse side effects and even those who have hereditary problems where statins are just not effective," said Dr. Christie Ballantyne, professor of medicine and section chief of cardiology and cardiovascular research in the department of medicine at BCM. "One focus is gene varients of PCSK9, which can reduce or increase cholesterol levels. This gene variant has been shown to bind to LDL receptors, preventing them from functioning properly. LDL receptors help to remove bad cholesterol from the bloodstream.
"Researchers created PCSK9 antibodies that bind specifically to PCSK9 and prevent them from interacting with LDL, resulting in significant reductions in LDL by more than 50 percent. The antibody can be given as an injection once or twice a month. So far, in smaller past studies, we have seen good tolerability and LDL levels going down," said Ballantyne, in the release. "Our goal for the current study is to replicate these results in a larger group, to determine how this treatment works in combination with other treatments and to learn if the inhibitor will work for those who are statin-intolerant."
Baylor College of Medicine in Houston is the only private medical school in the Greater Southwest. It is recognized as a premier academic health science center and is known for excellence in education, research and patient care. It is at 1 Baylor Plaza, Houston.
For more information, call 713-798-4951 or visit www.bcm.edu.
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