We'll get to the bad news in a bit; first, the data.
In a phase 2 trial, evacetrapib increased HDL cholesterol -- that's the good kind -- by 53.6% at the lowest dose and more than doubled the good cholesterol at the highest dose. LDL cholesterol -- that's the bad kind -- went in the right direction, too; evacetrapib lowered the bad cholesterol by as much as 36% when used by itself or by as much as 14% when used in combination with a statin.
Those are some pretty solid numbers in a pretty gigantic market. Remember Pfizer
So what's the bad news? Eli Lilly is behind Roche (OTC: RHHBY.PK) and Merck
Speaking of safety, the previous leader in this class, Pfizer's torcetrapib, crashed and burned in 2006 after it appeared patients taking the drug were doing worse than those on placebo. Everything looks OK with evacetrapib now, but that was true of torcetrapib before it entered phase 3 trials. It remains to be seen whether the problem is a class effect or specific to torcetrapib.
Evacetrapib might be a blockbuster, but it'll probably be years before we know; outcome trials take a while. Amarin
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