CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 20, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:AEGR), an emerging biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics to treat debilitating and often fatal rare diseases, today announced its observance and support of the first National Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) Awareness Day being held today on September 20, 2012. The National FH Awareness Day is sponsored by The Familial Hypercholesterolemia Foundation (The FH Foundation) as part of its mission to raise awareness of FH through education, advocacy and research. Aegerion Pharmaceuticals is supportive of The FH Foundation as its efforts can save lives by increasing the rate of early diagnosis and encouraging proactive treatment. For more information about the National FH Awareness Day, please visit The FH Foundation website. "There are a significant number of people who are at risk for serious cardiovascular events because the awareness level of FH is surprisingly low despite the seriousness of the disease," said Marc Beer, Chief Executive Officer. "We at Aegerion are fully in support of the efforts of The FH Foundation to raise this level of awareness so that the FH patients who are at risk can find the care that they need." Patients with FH have a reduced ability to effectively remove cholesterol from their bloodstreams, resulting in elevated cholesterol levels that can lead to complications such as heart disease and stroke. In the most severe genetic condition called homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HoFH), patients have cholesterol that can be up to four-to-ten times normal levels and they typically experience their first cardiac events early in life. Due to a diminished response to traditional lipid-lowering therapies, there is a significant unmet medical need in these patients. About HoFH HoFH is a rare genetic lipid disorder usually caused by defects in the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor genes, resulting in impaired or total loss of function of the LDL receptors. The LDL receptor is a protein on the surface of cells that is responsible for binding to and removing cholesterol from the blood. A loss of LDL receptor function results in elevated accumulation of cholesterol in the blood.
Untreated HoFH patients have extremely high cholesterol levels, typically between 400 mg/dL and 1,000 mg/dL. These patients are at severely high risk of experiencing premature cardiovascular events, such as heart attack or stroke, often experiencing their first cardiovascular event in their twenties. Despite current treatments, many patients with HoFH do not survive beyond their mid-30's.About Aegerion Pharmaceuticals Aegerion Pharmaceuticals is an emerging biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel, life-altering therapeutics to treat debilitating and often fatal rare diseases. Aegerion is motivated by its commitment to patients first. We are also attentive to our core values of integrity, innovation, responsibility to healthcare providers, development of employees and always – scientific and clinical excellence.
CONTACT: Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Michael Lawless, VP, IR (857) 242-5028 LaVoie Group Amanda Murphy (978) 745-4200 X103