Generation 2+ LICA antisense drug
Pelacarsen, also known as AKCEA-APO(a)-LRx and TQJ230, is a Generation 2+ LICA antisense drug designed to reduce apolipoprotein(a) in the liver to offer a direct approach for reducing lipoprotein(a), or Lp(a), a very atherogenic and thrombogenic form of LDL. Elevated Lp(a) is recognized as an independent, genetic cause of coronary artery disease, heart attack, stroke and peripheral arterial disease. Currently, there is no effective drug therapy to specifically and robustly lower elevated levels of Lp(a). Lp(a) levels are determined at birth and, therefore, lifestyle modification, including diet and exercise, do not impact Lp(a) levels. Even patients who can control their LDL-C remain at high-risk of cardiovascular events if they have high levels of Lp(a).
Pelacarsen is being developed for patients who are at significant risk of CVD because of their elevated Lp(a). We believe pelacarsen is the first and currently only drug in clinical development designed to selectively and robustly inhibit the production of Lp(a).
Lp(a) is a lipoprotein particle assembled in the liver that consists of an LDL-C-like particle and apolipoprotein(a). Lp(a) is considered a key driver for cardiovascular disease due to its association with an increased risk of coronary heart disease. There is evidence that elevated Lp(a) levels may contribute directly to heart attacks. Lp(a) levels in blood can vary greatly between individuals primarily due to genetic variations. Because elevated Lp(a) is a genetically determined condition that is not responsive to lifestyle changes, patients are unable to adequately control their Lp(a) levels through improved diet or increased physical activity. Moreover, current therapies are not able to reduce Lp(a) to recommended levels in patients who have high Lp(a). Although Lp(a) can be measured by a routine lipid blood panel, the lack of drugs to effectively lower Lp(a) has made treating patients with Lp(a)-driven cardiovascular disease difficult.