Vaccine in development to lower PCSK9
A vaccine that should induce the body to produce its own PCSK9 antibodies is being developed, reports Reuters. PCSK9 antibodies have been found to reduce LDL-c levels in the bloodstream, by promoting its degradation. Mikael Dolsten, President of Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development postulates that if the vaccine is found to be successful, it may be given as an annual injection. He expects that human tests with the experimental vaccine will start in 2016.
An antibody directed against PCSK9, bococizumab, is currently under investigation in the same company. It has been shown to effectively lower cholesterol when injected biweekly. Moreover, Pfizer is developing an oral PCSK9 pill, which yielded substantial reductions in cholesterol in animal trials.
Dolsten anticipates that a PCSK9 pill may eventually be used In people with moderate-to-high cholesterol levels, while an antibody could be useful in patients with high cholesterol levels, despite statin therapy.