Vaccine To Lower Cholesterol Looks Promising

First Posted: Jun 23, 2017 05:10 AM EDT

Scientists discovered a vaccine that has potential to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease. This was tested on mice and proved to be successful.

The findings of the study were published in the European Heart Journal. The vaccine could immunize people against high cholesterol that could lead to cardiovascular diseases. The vaccine contains a molecule that triggers the body to generate antibodies against an enzyme known as PCSK9 that has a role in inhibiting the clearance of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol or "bad cholesterol" from the blood, according to Medical Xpress.

The study involved animal model such as mice. The researchers fed the mice with a high-fat, Western-style diet to generate high cholesterol. Then, they divided the mice into two groups. The first group was treated with the vaccine and the other was a control group. They injected the vaccine under the skin.

The results showed that the vaccine lessened the total amount of cholesterol by 53 percent. It also lessened the damage to the blood vessels by 64 percent and the markers of blood vessel inflammation by around 28 percent.

Newsweek reports that the vaccine is manufactured by AFFiRis, an Australian-based biotech company. It is now on phase I clinical trial to test its safety and see if it could be applied to humans. The clinical trial is held at the Department of Clinical Pharmacology, the Medical University of Vienna in Austria. This will be participated and tested on 72 healthy people and it might be completed by the end of 2017.

Günther Staffler, the chief technology officer at AFFiRis, stated that the reduction in total cholesterol levels was significantly correlated with induced antibody concentration. This proves that induced antibodies trigger the lessening in cholesterol. They are also responsible for the reduction of atherosclerosis development.

It is also found that the antibody concentrations stayed high at the end of the research. This could result in more reduction of cholesterol levels for some period and could have a long-lasting effect. It could also lead to treatment for those people with high cholesterol that triggers cardiovascular disease if proven successful in humans.

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