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by Robert MacKay, Thursday, November 22, 2012 | Categories: Cholesterol

A new treatment to lower so-called bad cholesterol is currently being developed in the US and promising findings were recently reported at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2012. The treatment, which is currently called AMG-146, works by helping the body to use up bad cholesterol faster than it normally does. The aim is to have it used in combination with statins, which work by slowing the production of bad cholesterol.

The latest trial, which was published in The Lancet, was a double-blind dose-ranging trial that included a total of 631 individuals between the ages of 18-80. In order to be included, the participants had to have a reported history of high cholesterol while taking a single dose of statins. In total there were six different dosages and six placebos that the participant could be given during a three month period. The treatment or placebo was injected under the skin either every two weeks or every four weeks. The key findings indicated that participants who received the active ingredient treatment showed a reduction in LDL cholesterol compared with the control group. Moreover, the patients who had been given the treatment every two weeks showed a larger decrease (66%) in bad cholesterol than the patients that had been received the injection every four weeks (50%). It is also worth mentioning that no side effects were reported during the study. However, this is not to say that side effects may be noticed during an extended trial.

Overall, it can be noted that the study was small scale and that further trials with more participants and more extensive criteria should be conducted. Moreover, experts have expressed concerns that the treatment may be of limited use if it is injected.

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