Cholesterol, New Drug May Bring Billions In Revenue


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Sanofi and Regeneron have come together to create a drug that lowers cholesterol and allows people more choices with monitoring individual cholesterol levels. The drug has the potential to sweep through the medial world with current projections aiming that the drug may provide a $3 billion industry by itself.

The new drug, alirocumab, is a PCSK9 inhibitor. But what does this mean for real life everyday usage? The drug will be self-administered through injections. As a PCSK9 inhibitor the drug will have a unique target method. Man-made antibodies will attack proteins that otherwise prevent the body from eliminating the bad cholesterol, called LDL cholesterol.

This is a different method from the drug class of statins, which prevent the liver from initially producing LDL cholesterol. Intended candidates for using this drug include high-risk individuals with a predisposition and family history of high LDL cholesterol levels. A likely factor considering prescribing PCSK9 will also involve whether statins have been successful in controlling the condition alone. If statins have been unsuccessful, then alirocumab may be deemed as a potential solution.

The financial gains intended from this drug have been noted by many researchers. Members from the Deutsche Bank recently had this to say about the drug, "Physician feedback suggests high awareness amongst cardiologists and planned prescribing habits support multi-billion dollar potential for the class."

According to BioMedTracker, the estimates for future financial gains project that by the year 2023 sales for alirocumab may reach $3.7 billion.

The CEO of Sanofi, Chris Viehbacher, recently spoke optimistically about the potential results this recent change may pose for the healthcare industry. "When you look at the number of patients who are willing to inject themselves daily for diabetes, and you know a lot of those patients are also going to be in your patient population for PCSK9, I actually think that the injectable part is not going to be as big a barrier as people think. I think it is going to be a paradigm shift for healthcare and a potentially huge opportunity for us," Chris Viehbacher said.

[Image Via Wikimedia Commons Is A Model Of The Cholesterol Molecule]