New drug produces steep drop in bad cholesterol
AP Medical Writer= CHICAGO (AP) — An experimental drug boosted good cholesterol so high and dropped bad cholesterol so low in a study that doctors were stunned and voiced renewed hopes for an entirely new way of preventing heart attacks and strokes.
"We are the most excited we have been in decades," said Dr. Christopher Cannon of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, who led the study of the novel drug for Merck & Co. "This could really be the next big thing."
The drug, anacetrapib (an-uh-SEHT'-ruh-pihb), will not be on the market anytime soon. It needs more testing to see if its dramatic effects on cholesterol will translate into fewer heart attacks, strokes and deaths. Merck announced a 30,000-patient study to answer that question, and it will take several years.
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