Posts Tagged ‘evolocumab’

Welcome back to the big molecular science of PCSK and its antagonist Evolocumab, a monoclonal antibody designed to target and prevent the LDL receptor catabolism inside the lysosomes. Evolocumab was approved by FDA for aggressive lowering of LDL, following a  customary study published in NEJM 2017, that released this double-edged anti-lipid molecule into the human domain with all fanfare.

It aimed to reduce the LDL as low as possible in selected patients with familial LDLemia & and those who don’t tolerate statins.  Now, a study was silently released in BMJ open, at the fag end of 2002, which is causing ripples in the pharma world in the new year.

In fact, this paper can’t be called a study. It looks more like an FIR. It questions the missing death counts, which were not included in the landmark trial, that led to its approval.  It took time for the news to sink into the world lipid community. 

Final message

I am surprised at the reactions to the reanalysis of FOURIER data. Any reasonably experienced cardiologist will agree, getting regulatory approval with manipulated data and analysis is more of a norm and not an exception (Ref 1). In a trillion-dollar pharma industry, do you think hiding deaths is a big crime? Is there a solution to this menace?  Yes, let us hope so, with movements like this one (Doshi P et all, Restoring invisible and abandoned trials: A call for people to publish the findings 


Counterpoint (Q&A)


Damn this post. Don’t blame a phenomenally successful scientific breakthrough that intercepts the immune destruction of LDL receptors. Instead of being cynical, try to come up with a scientific analysis of the FOURIER study. Please read this rebuttal from the TIMI group, https://www.tctmd.com/news/study-alleges-mortality-miscount-fourier-trial-timi-group-disagrees


I agree, let us not blame Evolocumab. It is an innocent and intelligent molecule. Culprits are elsewhere. It is a reserve drug in a highly selected population with refractory LDLemia.The lesson from the FOURIER  to all the clinical trialists is, when credibility is lost every thing is lost, even truths can become a casualty. We have to live with that. 


Marcia Angell,the former NEJM editor’s  book


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