A new study has increased interest in GlaxoSmithKline’s experimental drug, darapladib, in the fight against heart disease.
The study, published in The Lancet, backs using drugs that target an enzyme which contributes to the clogging of arteries, a method being pioneered by the drug firm,
The enzyme Lp-PLA2 – or lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 – plays a key role in the risk of heart disease alongside bad cholesterol and high blood pressure.
The research was carried out by scientists at Cambridge University, who said their findings back further experiments using darapladib, which is already the focus of two large-scale clinical trials involving 27,000 patients worldwide.
“This reinforces interest in this enzyme, and reinforces the need to see the results from these clinical trials,” researcher Alex Thompson said.
Diabetes, smoking, LDL cholesterol and high blood pressure are all known causes of heart disease but it has also been shown that higher blood levels of Lp-PLA2 present an increased risk.
The new study looked at heart disease, stroke and death in almost 80,000 people in 32 previous studies and found Lp-PLA2 to pose an equal risk to higher blood pressure or bad cholesterol.
Copyright Press Association 2010