Amgen drug meets goal for those with high genetic cholesterol

March 17 Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:58am EDT

March 17 (Reuters) - Amgen Inc said on Monday its experimental new type of cholesterol fighter met the primary goal of a late-stage trial by significantly cutting "bad" LDL cholesterol among patients with a genetic tendency towards very high levels of the artery clogging fat.

Amgen said patients given its injectable drug evolocumab once a month on top of standard daily statin treatments showed "clinically meaningful" improvement compared to statins alone after 12 weeks of treatment.

Evolocumab works by blocking PCSK9, a naturally occurring protein that keeps LDL levels elevated in the bloodstream. Other drugmakers, including Pfizer Inc and a partnership between Regeneron Inc and Sanofi, are racing with Amgen to complete trials of potentially lucrative anti-PCSK9 antibodies.

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