• Bempedoic Acid: The New Kid on the Block for the Treatment of Dyslipidemia and LDL Cholesterol: A Narrative Review

      Alam, Uazman; email: Uazman.alam@manchester.ac.uk; email: Uazman.alam@liverpool.ac.uk; Al-Bazz, Dalal Y.; Soran, Handrean; email: hsoran@aol.co.uk; email: Handrean.Soran@mft.nhs.uk (Springer Healthcare, 2021-05-26)
      Abstract: Diabetes is a major risk factor for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) in which dyslipidaemia plays a crucial role. Statins are first line therapy for primary and secondary prevention of ASCVD; however, adverse events include reversible musculoskeletal and liver side effects in addition to a diabetogenic association. In this short review, we provide a succinct narrative of the future role and current trial data of a novel first-in-class molecule, bempedoic acid. The authors provide their expert insight with a focus on Phase III randomised controlled trials (RCT) of bempedoic acid. Bempedoic acid was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in February and March 2020, respectively, and is a novel molecule which inhibits cholesterol biosynthesis in the same mechanistic pathway as statins. It is a first-in-class small molecule, delivered as a prodrug and administered as an oral, once-daily dose that decreases low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels. Phase II and III RCTs have demonstrated efficacy with adequate safety data as mono- or combination therapy with statins and ezetimibe. Bempedoic acid is hepatically converted to the active drug with a lack of activation in skeletal muscle. Due to this novel mechanism, musculoskeletal-related adverse events exhibit a lower prevalence providing an alternative pharmacotherapy in statin-intolerant patients. Bempedoic acid may be used as an adjunct to diet and maximally tolerated statin therapy or in statin-intolerant patients for the treatment of dyslipidaemia. The recent National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) (UK) technology appraisal guidance [TA694] published in April 2021 recommended bempedoic acid with ezetimibe as a treatment option for primary hypercholesterolaemia or mixed dyslipidaemia if statins are not tolerated or contraindicated and if there is inadequate control of LDL-C with ezetimibe alone. Additionally, outcomes trials evaluating ‘hard’ endpoints in statin-intolerant patients or those with ASCVD are currently underway.