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Effect of Bempedoic Acid vs Placebo Added to Maximally Tolerated Statins on Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol in Patients at High Risk for Cardiovascular Disease: The CLEAR Wisdom Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA 2019 November 13
IMPORTANCE: Additional treatment options are needed for patients who do not achieve sufficient reduction in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) level with available lipid-lowering therapies.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the efficacy of bempedoic acid vs placebo in patients at high cardiovascular risk receiving maximally tolerated lipid-lowering therapy.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Phase 3, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial conducted at 91 clinical sites in North America and Europe from November 2016 to September 2018, with a final date of follow-up of September 22, 2018. A total of 779 patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, or both met randomization criteria, which included LDL-C level 70 mg/dL (1.8 mmol/L) or greater while receiving maximally tolerated lipid-lowering therapy.

INTERVENTIONS: Patients were randomized 2:1 to treatment with bempedoic acid (180 mg) (n = 522) or placebo (n = 257) once daily for 52 weeks.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary end point was percent change from baseline in LDL-C level at week 12. Secondary measures included changes in levels of lipids, lipoproteins, and biomarkers.

RESULTS: Among 779 randomized patients (mean age, 64.3 years; 283 women [36.3%]), 740 (95.0%) completed the trial. At baseline, mean LDL-C level was 120.4 (SD, 37.9) mg/dL. Bempedoic acid lowered LDL-C levels significantly more than placebo at week 12 (-15.1% vs 2.4%, respectively; difference, -17.4% [95% CI, -21.0% to -13.9%]; P < .001). Significant reductions with bempedoic acid vs placebo were observed at week 12 for non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (-10.8% vs 2.3%; difference, -13.0% [95% CI, -16.3% to -9.8%]; P < .001), total cholesterol (-9.9% vs 1.3%; difference, -11.2% [95% CI, -13.6% to -8.8%]; P < .001), apolipoprotein B (-9.3% vs 3.7%; difference, -13.0% [95% CI, -16.1% to -9.9%]; P < .001), and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (median, -18.7% vs -9.4%; difference, -8.7% [asymptotic confidence limits, -17.2% to -0.4%]; P = .04). Common adverse events included nasopharyngitis (5.2% vs 5.1% with bempedoic acid and placebo, respectively), urinary tract infection (5.0% vs 1.9%), and hyperuricemia (4.2% vs 1.9%).

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Among patients at high risk for cardiovascular disease receiving maximally tolerated statins, the addition of bempedoic acid compared with placebo resulted in a significant lowering of LDL-C level over 12 weeks. Further research is needed to assess the durability and clinical effect as well as long-term safety.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Identifier: NCT02991118.

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