In a phase IIb study in 589 patients with primary hypercholesterolemia or mixed hyperlipidemia treated with anacetrapib as monotherapy or co-administered with atorvastatin, there were persistent lipid effects in the higher dose arms in both the monotherapy and co-administration treatment groups eight weeks after stopping active therapy with anacetrapib. These findings were announced today at the American Heart Association (AHA) Annual Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Florida.
Anacetrapib is an investigational oral compound currently in Phase III trials that works by inhibiting the activity of CETP in the blood. CETP inhibition with anacetrapib decreases LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) levels and increases HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C) levels. The effect of CETP inhibition on cardiovascular risk has yet to be established.
“The study findings add to the data from the initial Phase IIb efficacy and safety results published in the American Heart Journal in February 2009,” said Yale Mitchel, M.D., vice president, Cardiovascular Disease Clinical Research, Merck Research Laboratories. “A phase III trial, titled DEFINE, is ongoing to further evaluate the safety and efficacy of anacetrapib in patients with coronary heart disease and will provide important information on this compound.”