diaDexus, Inc. (OTCQB:DDXS) highlighted today the published observation that a reduction in Lp-PLA 2 (lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A 2) levels while on a statin treatment can reduce coronary heart disease (CHD) risk. Earlier this month, the Journal of the American Heart Association published the results from a sub-study on the Long-term Intervention with Pravastatin in Ischemic Disease (LIPID) study of pravastatin in CHD patients.
The sub-study showed that patients who had the biggest drop in Lp-PLA 2 activity levels on pravastatin therapy were most likely to have the greatest benefit, with fewer CHD deaths and heart attacks, as well as significantly fewer total cardiovascular disease events (p<0.001). The majority of the treatment effect (59 percent) was accounted for by changes in Lp-PLA 2 activity, and the authors concluded that this reduction was at least as important as LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) reduction in predicting a favorable response to pravastatin treatment.
“It is well understood that reduction in LDL-C is a key mechanism by which statins reduce risk. This study proves that other mechanisms are also important—reduction in Lp-PLA 2 activity during the first year may account for more than half of the benefits of pravastatin in the LIPID Study,” said Harvey White, DSc, the lead investigator on the study and cardiologist at Auckland City Hospital Green Lane Cardiac Service. “There was a 24 percent (P<0.001) reduction in death from CHD and a 22 percent (P<0.001) reduction in overall mortality observed in this study. These results elevate Lp-PLA 2 to that of a risk factor for CHD.”
“This is one of the first outcome studies to support the value of measuring and lowering Lp-PLA 2 activity to help prevent coronary events,” said Brian Ward, Ph.D., diaDexus’ president and chief executive officer. “The LIPID study used the diaDexus research use only activity assay, which is now a CE marked test, and we anticipate that we will submit the assay for clearance to the FDA.”About the LIPID Study The LIPID study ( Long-term Intervention with Pravastatin in Ischemic Disease) was funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb and conducted by the National Heart Foundation of Australia. The sub-study was supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia and diaDexus. LIPID was a large (n=9014), double-blind, placebo-controlled study of pravastatin in CHD patients. During a mean 6.0-year follow-up, there were significant reductions in the primary end point of death from CHD, all-cause mortality, and other pre specified cardiovascular end points, including the composite of nonfatal myocardial or CHD death.