What is evacetrapib? A CETP inhibitor – CETP stands for cholesteryl ester transferase protein, and inhition of these protein leads to significant increases in HDL and decreases in LDL. All good, right? In fact, a similar agent has been studied before – torcetrapib, in the ILLUMINATE trial – and yes, the HDL went up and LDL down.
But…for some reason many more people died. 1.58 times more people in fact, with some of it due to higher cardiovascular mortality. So was it the drug or the actual CETP inhibition causing the problem? There were probably some off target effects of torcetrapib that clouded the issue.
Which is where evacetrapib comes in. This trial from JAMA shows that there were beneficial effects from a cholesterol point of view, but without the increased mortality.
So, CETP inhibition still may be the future of of lipid lowering therapy – check it out here.
Update | check out the HPS study over here, in the Lancet, which looked at the long term safety of statins – a worthwhile read for such a commonly used drug.