FDA approves cholesterol lowering drug

Dec. 26, 2012 at 6:49 PM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Juxtapid to reduce low-density lipoprotein, "bad" cholesterol, in those with rare a disorder, officials say.

Juxtapid, or lomitapide, intended for use in combination with a low-fat diet and other lipid-lowering treatments, also lowers total cholesterol, apolipoprotein B, and non-high-density lipoprotein -- non-HDL -- cholesterol in patients with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia.

Homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia is a rare inherited condition that makes the body unable to remove LDL cholesterol from the blood, causing abnormally high levels of circulating LDL cholesterol. In the United States, homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia occurs in approximately 1-in-1 million individuals, but they often suffer heart attacks and death before age 30.

Juxtapid works by impairing the creation of the lipid particles that ultimately give rise to LDL.

"Juxtapid, in addition to diet changes and other cholesterol-lowering treatments, is a new option for those suffering with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia and the serious health consequences resulting from this condition," Dr. Eric Colman of the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement.

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