March 23, 2016 / 6:35 AM / 4 years ago

Sanofi, Regeneron unveil positive Praluent cholesterol study

French multinational pharmaceutical company SANOFI logo seen at their headquater in Paris, France, March 8, 2016. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

PARIS (Reuters) - French drugmaker Sanofi and U.S. partner Regeneron said a late-stage study of their Praluent injection showed it reduced the need for patients with an inherited form of high cholesterol to have bad cholesterol removed from their blood.

“This is the first time a PCSK9 inhibitor has shown in a clinical study that it reduced the frequency of apheresis therapy, an invasive, difficult to access, time-consuming and expensive treatment for some of the most difficult-to-treat patients,” said Bill Sasiela, vice president of program direction at Regeneron.

Apheresis, which is a procedure where bad cholesterol is removed from the blood in a process similar to kidney dialysis, can take more than three hours and cost up to $100,000 for each patient per year in the United States or up to 60,000 euros ($67,218) in Germany, the companies said.

Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath

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