THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Jan. 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) today announced that the Phase 3 GAUSS-2 ( Goal Achievement After Utilizing an Anti-PCSK9 Antibody in Statin Intolerant Subjects-2) trial evaluating evolocumab in patients with high cholesterol who cannot tolerate statins met its co-primary endpoints: the percent reduction from baseline in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) at week 12 and the mean percent reduction from baseline in LDL-C at weeks 10 and 12. The mean percent reductions in LDL-C, or "bad" cholesterol, compared to ezetimibe were consistent with results observed in the Phase 2 GAUSS study. Evolocumab is an investigational fully human monoclonal antibody that inhibits proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9), a protein that reduces the liver's ability to remove LDL-C from the blood. 1 The GAUSS-2 trial evaluated safety, tolerability and efficacy of evolocumab in 307 patients with high cholesterol who could not tolerate effective doses of at least two different statins due to muscle-related side effects. Patients were randomized to one of four treatment groups: subcutaneous evolocumab 140 mg every two weeks and oral placebo daily; subcutaneous evolocumab 420 mg monthly and oral placebo daily; subcutaneous placebo every two weeks and oral ezetimibe 10 mg daily; or subcutaneous placebo monthly and oral ezetimibe 10 mg daily. Safety was generally balanced across treatment groups. The most common adverse events ( > 5 percent in evolocumab combined group) were headache (7.8 percent evolocumab; 8.8 percent ezetimibe), myalgia (7.8 percent evolocumab; 17.6 percent ezetimibe), pain in extremity (6.8 percent evolocumab; 1.0 percent ezetimibe), and muscle spasms (6.3 percent evolocumab; 3.9 percent ezetimibe). "We are pleased to continue to see promising results from the Phase 3 studies in our comprehensive development program for evolocumab," said Sean E. Harper, M.D., executive vice president of Research and Development at Amgen. "The positive GAUSS-2 results suggest that evolocumab may offer a new lipid-lowering treatment to meet an important medical need for high-risk patients who cannot tolerate effective doses of statins." Data from the Phase 3 GAUSS-2 trial will be submitted to a future medical conference and for publication.