SO HOW DOES THE NEW DRUG WORK?
INCLISIRAN is one of a number of new therapies called small interfering RNA (siRNA) drugs.
These treatments essentially modify the genetic code inside cells, changing how the body functions. Genes send commands to cells to produce molecules critical for the functioning of the body and these commands are conveyed within cells by what is known as messenger RNA (mRNA).
However, sometimes they can create unwanted molecules that lead to diseases.
In patients with very high cholesterol levels, the liver produces too much of a protein called PCSK9. These proteins inhibit the liver’s ability to breakdown ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol linked with higher rates of heart attacks and strokes.
Inclisiran works by binding to mRNA strands that create the PCSK9 protein, interfering with the way they work. This means vastly fewer of these proteins are made and the liver mops up more LDL, removing it from the circulation.
That, cardiologists believe, will protect patients from heart attacks and strokes.
Inclisiran is not the only game-changing siRNA drug. This year, a US study found that siRNA zilebesiran can ‘switch off’ high blood pressure.
‘This technology will be used in medicine to treat everything,’ says Professor Derek Connolly, consultant cardiologist at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust.
‘These drugs are convenient, effective and appear to trigger very few side effects. This is undoubtedly the future.’
dmg media (UK)