All Hope Not Lost for CETP Inhibitors

Topline results from the REVEAL (Randomized EValuation of the Effects of Anacetrapib through Lipid modification) study have given new hope to cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitors.

CETP inhibitors initially gained much interest for their potent ability to lower LDL-cholesterol and were being investigated for the reduction of major coronary events in high risk patients. However, three CETP inhibitors (torcetrapib, dalcetrapib and evacetrapib) failed during Phase III clinical development, leading many experts to believe other CETP inhibitors, including Merck’s anacetrapib, would suffer a similar fate.

Anacetrapib, met its primary endpoint, significantly reducing major coronary events (composite of coronary death, myocardial infarction, and coronary revascularization) compared to placebo in patients at risk for cardiac events who were receiving an effective LDL-cholesterol lowering regimen.

Full details of the REVEAL trial will be presented in August at the European Society of Cardiology 2017 Congress. In the meantime, Merck says they plan to review the results of the trial with external experts, and will consider whether to file new drug applications with the FDA and Health Canada.