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by Robert MacKay, Wednesday, November 17, 2010 | Categories: Cholesterol

Merck’s latest experimental cholesterol drug, anacetrapib has yielded some interesting results in a study published with the New England Journal of Medicine. The drug that increases our levels of HDL (good cholesterol) as it simultaneously lowers LDL (bad cholesterol), produced a 39.8% greater reduction in LDL among patients taking it over patients who were taking the placebo. The group taking the anacetrapib were reported to have experienced a 138.1% increase in levels of HDL.

A larger study needs to be carried out before we see the effects of this drug on the health of the heart but the results so far look promising and 30,000 participants will be recruited for a larger outcomes trial.

This new drug is very similar to a CETP inhibitor that was being developed by Pfizer a few years ago but had to be abandoned after trials costing $800 million established that it increased death rates by 59% and heart attacks by 25%. Whatever the outcome, the new Merck drug will not be available until 2015 at the earliest.

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