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Results announced from six Phase 3 trials showing that alirocumab significantly reduced LDL cholesterol

Sanofi and , has announced new detailed positive results from six Phase 3 trials that showed alirocumab significantly reduced low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C, or “bad” cholesterol). Alirocumab is an investigational fully human monoclonal antibody targeting the protein PCSK9 (proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9) that is being evaluated for its ability to lower LDL-C.

All six trials, ODYSSEY LONG TERM, COMBO I, ALTERNATIVE, OPTIONS I, OPTIONS II, and HIGH FH, met their primary efficacy endpoint of a greater reduction in LDL-C at 24 weeks, versus either active comparator or placebo, which included standard-of-care therapy. Detailed results from these trials were presented as part of a special session on the ODYSSEY program, and during a presentation at the (AHA) Scientific Sessions in Chicago, IL. The companies had announced in July that all six studies met their primary efficacy endpoints.

“In these trials patients treated with alirocumab achieved significant and robust LDL-C reductions compared to baseline,” said Jennifer Robinson, M.D., M.P.H., Director of the Prevention Intervention Center, Professor, Departments of Epidemiology & Medicine, College of Public Health at the University of Iowa. “New interim results from ODYSSEY LONG TERM provide further support for alirocumab’s consistent safety profile, including in more than 500 patients who achieved LDL-C levels lower than 25 mg/dL.”

The trials assessed alirocumab in who were at high cardiovascular (CV) risk, had an inherited form of high cholesterol known as heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HeFH), and/or a history of intolerance to two or more statins, including one at the lowest dose. All patients received alirocumab in addition to standard-of-care lipid-lowering therapy, with the exception of some patients in ODYSSEY ALTERNATIVE.

In a pre-specified interim analysis of the ongoing, 78-week ODYSSEY LONG TERM safety, tolerability and efficacy trial, a generally comparable rate of AEs was observed among the 37 percent (n=562) of alirocumab-treated patients who achieved two consecutive LDL-C values of less than 25 mg/dL, as compared to the overall alirocumab patient population in this trial.

ODYSSEY ALTERNATIVE is the first trial of a PCSK9 inhibitor to reassess statin intolerance, as measured by skeletal muscle AEs, by including a validation arm (atorvastatin 20 mg). In clinical practice, 10 to 25 percent of patients report intolerance to statins, and many have poorly-controlled LDL-C, which puts them at greater risk of CV events.1,2 In this trial, there were fewer skeletal muscle AEs in the alirocumab group compared to patients treated with atorvastatin (32.5 percent versus 46 percent, hazard ratio = 0.61; nominal p value = 0.042), and there was no significant difference when compared to the ezetimibe group (41 percent). In addition, there were numerically fewer discontinuations for skeletal muscle AEs in the alirocumab group, but this did not reach statistical significance (alirocumab 16 percent, ezetimibe 20 percent, atorvastatin 22 percent). In comparison, the overall rate of discontinuations for skeletal muscle AEs across the Phase 2 and 3 alirocumab placebo-controlled studies, where the majority of patients were also on statins, was 0.4 percent for alirocumab (n=2,476) and 0.5 percent for placebo (n=1,276).

Patients in all six randomized, double-blind, Phase 3 ODYSSEY trials received alirocumab via a single, self-administered 1-mililter (mL) subcutaneous injection, every two weeks. Alirocumab-treated patients received the 150 milligram (mg) dose in ODYSSEY LONG TERM and HIGH FH, and the 75 mg dose (increasing to 150 mg if needed to reach pre-specified LDL-C levels) in ODYSSEY ALTERNATIVE, OPTIONS I, OPTIONS II, and COMBO I. In the trials that used an individualized approach with 75 mg and 150 mg doses, the majority of patients reached their LDL-C goal while remaining on the 75 mg dose. Average baseline LDL-C levels in all six trials were between approximately 100-120 mg/dL, with the exception of ODYSSEY ALTERNATIVE and HIGH FH where baseline LDL-C levels were greater than 190 mg/dL.

The six ODYSSEY trials reported at 2014, along with results from four other Phase 3 studies, encompass more than 5,000 patients studied in double-blind trials for 24-104 weeks. Regulatory submissions are planned in the U.S. and EU before the end of this year.

The ODYSSEY clinical trial program is ongoing. Click here for more information on alirocumab, LDL-C, and the ODYSSEY studies presented at the AHA Scientific Sessions 2014. Alirocumab is currently under clinical development and its safety and efficacy have not been evaluated by any regulatory authority.


1. Bruckert E, Hayem G, Dejager S, et al. Mild to moderate muscular symptoms with high-dosage statin therapy in hyperlipidemic patients -the PRIMO study. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. 2005;19:403-414.

2. Cohen JD, Brinton EA, Ito MK, Jacobson TA. Understanding statin use in America and gaps in patient education (USAGE): an internet-based survey of 10,138 current and former statin users. J Clin Lipidol. 2012 May-Jun;6(3):208-15.

Source: Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.