New treatment for out-of-control cholesterol: HoFH

Published On: Mar 22 2013 11:44:18 AM EDT
Updated On: Mar 25 2013 07:00:00 AM EDT

Do you know your LDL? It’s the bad cholesterol in our bodies and the American Heart Association says keeping it under 100 is best to avoid heart attacks and strokes, but for some people no matter what they do their numbers skyrocket.

Now, a drug that’s just hit the market could help bring it back down to earth.

Wenter Blair is a shutterbug.

“Heaven forbid something does happen to me, my babies have a really good idea of who I am through my photography,” she said.

Blair suffers from an inherited condition called HoFH. Her body cannot remove the bad cholesterol from her blood.

“Every night I go to bed fearful that it might be my last night,” Blair said.

Wenter’s LDL levels are usually around 350. She had three heart attacks before she was 43.

“I know I don’t have it under control and it scares the living crud out of me,” Blair said.

Kynamro was recently FDA approved to treat HoFH.

“A technology that’s been in development for 30 years and this is the first real breakthrough in that technology,” said Paula Soteropoulos, general manager for Genzyme Corporation.

Developed in part by Genzyme, Soteropoulos says the once-a-week injection stops the production of cholesterol. A clinical trial found, on average patients taking Kynamro saw their LDL levels drop 25 percent.

“This is getting them to levels they have never seen before,” Soteropoulos said.

Blair says this and other drugs in the works are giving her a better picture of what her future could be.

“I want to live a really long time and without them I won’t see the longevity that I so crave,” she explained.

Kynamro is not a replacement for a patient’s HoFH medications. It’s designed to be added to their treatment regimen. The FDA reports the most serious risk of Kynamro is liver toxicity. Other side effects include nausea, headache, and flu-like symptoms.

Read more from the FDA about Kynamro

Learn more about Familial Hypercholesterolemia(HoFH)

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