Blast from the past: Roche's dalcetrapib, HDL-raising meds could work for some patients
- After being consigned to the pharmaceutical R&D dustbin in late 2012, Roche's cholesterol treatment, dalcetrapib, may be resuscitated after researchers looking closely at the data found that it works in a subset of patients.
- The drug was initially scrapped because the overall data did not bear out the idea that dalcetrapib decreased cardiovascular (CVD) events, including CVD-related deaths.
- After publishing their new analysis in Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics, the researchers who rediscovered dalcetrapib's potential are undertaking a genetics-guided clinical study in patients who fit the target genetic profile.
When cholesterylester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitors were first being investigated, the theory that raising HDL-C could decrease the risk of CVD events in at-risk patients was being accepted as a medical reality. But once a study of more than 15,000 patients failed to confirm that hypothesis, the American Heart Association stated that raising HDL-C does not decrease the risk of CV events in at-risk patients (e.g., those with acute coronary syndrome).
Now, less than three years later, researchers have learned more about the ability of certain drugs to work for certain individuals based on genetics. This is another step forward for personalized medicine—and potentially a second chance for CETP inhibitors and Roche.