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New Therapy for Lipid Disorder Demonstrates Varied Results

Preliminary research suggests that use of a novel, potent drug to treat cholesterol disorders decreases triglycerides and increases// HDL-C, the 'good' cholesterol, but also raises some safety concerns, according to a study.

Several different classes of drugs are used to treat lipid disorders. Fibrates reduce the liver's production of a triglyceride-carrying particle and speed up removal of triglycerides from the blood. Statins reduce cholesterol levels by inhibiting an enzyme that produces cholesterol in the liver. New, more potent and selective medications are being developed to treat lipid disorders within the class of drugs known as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-alpha agonists - drugs that turn on one of several cellular switches, according to background information in the article. None of the new PPAR-alpha agonists has achieved regulatory approval.it

Steven E. Nissen, M.D., of the Cleveland Clinic Lerner School of Medicine, Cleveland, and colleagues conducted two multi-center, randomized trials to examine the safety and efficacy of a PPAR-alpha agonist known as LY518674. In one study, 309 patients with atherogenic dyslipidemia (elevated triglycerides and low HDL-C) received LY518674 (in one of 4 doses, 10, 25, 50 or 100 micrograms), placebo, or the fibrate drug fenofibrate. In the other study, 304 patients with hypercholesterolemia (elevated LDL-C, the 'bad' cholesterol) received placebo or the statin drug atorvastatin for four weeks, then placebo or LY518674 (in one of 2 doses, 10 or 50 micrograms) for 12 more weeks. The patients were randomized between August 2005 and August 2006.

'Efficacy in an atherogenic dyslipidemia population was generally similar to that of fenofibrate, producing a 35 percent to 42 percent decrease in triglyceride levels and a two percent to 16 percent increase in HDL-C levels,' the authors report.

'In those with hypercholesterolemia, LY518674 reduced triglycerides a
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