This week, during American College of Cardiology meeting, data on a potent new cholesterol medicine will be unveleiled, revealing its real sales potential.
On friday 17th March, Amgen will present results from a 27,500-patient trial of Repatha informing doctors and investors of just how much the expensive injectable drug cut the risk of heart attack, stroke and death in people with heart disease already taking maximum doses of cholesterol-lowering statins, such as Lipitor.
Repatha belongs to a class of drugs called PCSK9 inhibitors that work to reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol in a patient’s blood. It competes directly with Praluent, a drug from Regeneron and Sanofi.
“What I care about is there are patients for whom the PCSK9 is absolutely vital,” said Dr. Leslie Cho, head of preventive cardiology and cardiac rehabilitation at the Cleveland Clinic.
Industry analysts said they hope to see at least a 20 percent reduction of major adverse heart events from Repatha, and that anything less might be viewed as disappointing to investors.
Amgen shares rose 3 percent last month, when it announced the Repatha trial had succeeded without providing details.
On the other side, competitor Regeneron expects to have results from Praluent’s large cardiovascular outcomes trial by year end. Whether Praluent will still be available depends on an appeal of a U.S. court ruling that found it infringed Repatha patents.