A systematic review of PCSK9 inhibitors alirocumab and evolocumab

Marian McDonagh, Kim Peterson, Brittany Holzhammer, Sergio Fazio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitors are a new class of cholesterol-lowering medications that provide significant reductions in lipids but at a large cost relative to statins. With 2 such drugs now on the market, alirocumab and evolocumab, comparing the evidence base for these drugs is necessary for informed decision making. OBJECTIVE: To compare the benefits and harms of the PCSK9 inhibitors alirocumab and evolocumab. METHODS: The databases Ovid MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, SCOPUS, and ClinicalTrials.gov were used to search for randomized controlled trials of alirocumab or evolocumab with any relevant comparator reporting health outcomes, lipid outcomes, or harms through September 2015, and information was requested from manufacturers. Results were reviewed according to standard review methods. RESULTS: The database searches revealed 17 fair- and good-quality trials; however, none had primary health outcomes or directly compared PCSK9 inhibitors. Alirocumab (75 mg to 150 mg subcutaneously every 2 weeks) resulted in significantly greater reductions in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C; -8% to -67%) at 12-24 weeks in patients with (a) heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia and (b) patients at high or varied cardiovascular (CV) risk who were not at LDL-C goals with statin therapy. The highest strength evidence was for patients with high CV risk not at LDL-C goals. Alirocumab also resulted in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) increases of 6%-12%. Low- and moderate-strength evidence for adjudicated CV events at 52-78 weeks for a priori analyses indicated no benefit. Low- and moderate-strength evidence also found no differences in harms except possibly slightly more injection-site reactions. Evolocumab (120 mg subcutaneously every 2 weeks to 420 mg every 4 weeks) resulted in significantly greater reductions in LDL-C (-32% to -71%) at 12-52 weeks in patients with heterozygous or homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, patients intolerant of statins, and patients with varied CV risk not at LDL-C goal with statin therapy. The highest strength evidence was for heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia and patients not at LDL-C goals. Moderate-strength evidence showed HDL-C increases in the range of 4.5%-6.8%. Harms were not different between groups, except possibly slightly greater overall adverse event reporting. Evidence on adjudicated CV outcomes was insufficient to draw conclusions because of sparseness of events, study limitations, and inability to assess consistency of findings. CONCLUSIONS: Alirocumab and evolocumab have evidence of large improvements in lipid levels. The strength of the evidence is greater for alirocumab than evolocumab in patients with high CV risk who were not at LDL-C target goals, while evidence for evolocumab is stronger in patients with heterogeneous familial hypercholesterolemia and patients with varied CV risk who were not at LDL-C target goals. Evidence on adjudicated CV outcomes for a priori analyses is unable to show benefit for alirocumab and is insufficient to draw conclusions for evolocumab. Important questions remain about the comparative effects on long-term health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)641-653
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of managed care & specialty pharmacy
Volume22
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

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Proprotein Convertases
Subtilisin
Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
Hyperlipoproteinemia Type II
Health
Lipids
HDL Cholesterol
alirocumab
AMG 145
Proprotein Convertase 9
Databases
oxidized low density lipoprotein
Pharmaceutical Preparations
LDL Cholesterol
MEDLINE
Decision making
Cholesterol
Libraries
Decision Making
Randomized Controlled Trials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Pharmacy

Cite this

A systematic review of PCSK9 inhibitors alirocumab and evolocumab. / McDonagh, Marian; Peterson, Kim; Holzhammer, Brittany; Fazio, Sergio.

In: Journal of managed care & specialty pharmacy, Vol. 22, No. 6, 01.06.2016, p. 641-653.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "BACKGROUND: The proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitors are a new class of cholesterol-lowering medications that provide significant reductions in lipids but at a large cost relative to statins. With 2 such drugs now on the market, alirocumab and evolocumab, comparing the evidence base for these drugs is necessary for informed decision making. OBJECTIVE: To compare the benefits and harms of the PCSK9 inhibitors alirocumab and evolocumab. METHODS: The databases Ovid MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, SCOPUS, and ClinicalTrials.gov were used to search for randomized controlled trials of alirocumab or evolocumab with any relevant comparator reporting health outcomes, lipid outcomes, or harms through September 2015, and information was requested from manufacturers. Results were reviewed according to standard review methods. RESULTS: The database searches revealed 17 fair- and good-quality trials; however, none had primary health outcomes or directly compared PCSK9 inhibitors. Alirocumab (75 mg to 150 mg subcutaneously every 2 weeks) resulted in significantly greater reductions in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C; -8{\%} to -67{\%}) at 12-24 weeks in patients with (a) heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia and (b) patients at high or varied cardiovascular (CV) risk who were not at LDL-C goals with statin therapy. The highest strength evidence was for patients with high CV risk not at LDL-C goals. Alirocumab also resulted in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) increases of 6{\%}-12{\%}. Low- and moderate-strength evidence for adjudicated CV events at 52-78 weeks for a priori analyses indicated no benefit. Low- and moderate-strength evidence also found no differences in harms except possibly slightly more injection-site reactions. Evolocumab (120 mg subcutaneously every 2 weeks to 420 mg every 4 weeks) resulted in significantly greater reductions in LDL-C (-32{\%} to -71{\%}) at 12-52 weeks in patients with heterozygous or homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, patients intolerant of statins, and patients with varied CV risk not at LDL-C goal with statin therapy. The highest strength evidence was for heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia and patients not at LDL-C goals. Moderate-strength evidence showed HDL-C increases in the range of 4.5{\%}-6.8{\%}. Harms were not different between groups, except possibly slightly greater overall adverse event reporting. Evidence on adjudicated CV outcomes was insufficient to draw conclusions because of sparseness of events, study limitations, and inability to assess consistency of findings. CONCLUSIONS: Alirocumab and evolocumab have evidence of large improvements in lipid levels. The strength of the evidence is greater for alirocumab than evolocumab in patients with high CV risk who were not at LDL-C target goals, while evidence for evolocumab is stronger in patients with heterogeneous familial hypercholesterolemia and patients with varied CV risk who were not at LDL-C target goals. Evidence on adjudicated CV outcomes for a priori analyses is unable to show benefit for alirocumab and is insufficient to draw conclusions for evolocumab. Important questions remain about the comparative effects on long-term health outcomes.",
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N2 - BACKGROUND: The proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitors are a new class of cholesterol-lowering medications that provide significant reductions in lipids but at a large cost relative to statins. With 2 such drugs now on the market, alirocumab and evolocumab, comparing the evidence base for these drugs is necessary for informed decision making. OBJECTIVE: To compare the benefits and harms of the PCSK9 inhibitors alirocumab and evolocumab. METHODS: The databases Ovid MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, SCOPUS, and ClinicalTrials.gov were used to search for randomized controlled trials of alirocumab or evolocumab with any relevant comparator reporting health outcomes, lipid outcomes, or harms through September 2015, and information was requested from manufacturers. Results were reviewed according to standard review methods. RESULTS: The database searches revealed 17 fair- and good-quality trials; however, none had primary health outcomes or directly compared PCSK9 inhibitors. Alirocumab (75 mg to 150 mg subcutaneously every 2 weeks) resulted in significantly greater reductions in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C; -8% to -67%) at 12-24 weeks in patients with (a) heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia and (b) patients at high or varied cardiovascular (CV) risk who were not at LDL-C goals with statin therapy. The highest strength evidence was for patients with high CV risk not at LDL-C goals. Alirocumab also resulted in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) increases of 6%-12%. Low- and moderate-strength evidence for adjudicated CV events at 52-78 weeks for a priori analyses indicated no benefit. Low- and moderate-strength evidence also found no differences in harms except possibly slightly more injection-site reactions. Evolocumab (120 mg subcutaneously every 2 weeks to 420 mg every 4 weeks) resulted in significantly greater reductions in LDL-C (-32% to -71%) at 12-52 weeks in patients with heterozygous or homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, patients intolerant of statins, and patients with varied CV risk not at LDL-C goal with statin therapy. The highest strength evidence was for heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia and patients not at LDL-C goals. Moderate-strength evidence showed HDL-C increases in the range of 4.5%-6.8%. Harms were not different between groups, except possibly slightly greater overall adverse event reporting. Evidence on adjudicated CV outcomes was insufficient to draw conclusions because of sparseness of events, study limitations, and inability to assess consistency of findings. CONCLUSIONS: Alirocumab and evolocumab have evidence of large improvements in lipid levels. The strength of the evidence is greater for alirocumab than evolocumab in patients with high CV risk who were not at LDL-C target goals, while evidence for evolocumab is stronger in patients with heterogeneous familial hypercholesterolemia and patients with varied CV risk who were not at LDL-C target goals. Evidence on adjudicated CV outcomes for a priori analyses is unable to show benefit for alirocumab and is insufficient to draw conclusions for evolocumab. Important questions remain about the comparative effects on long-term health outcomes.

AB - BACKGROUND: The proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitors are a new class of cholesterol-lowering medications that provide significant reductions in lipids but at a large cost relative to statins. With 2 such drugs now on the market, alirocumab and evolocumab, comparing the evidence base for these drugs is necessary for informed decision making. OBJECTIVE: To compare the benefits and harms of the PCSK9 inhibitors alirocumab and evolocumab. METHODS: The databases Ovid MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, SCOPUS, and ClinicalTrials.gov were used to search for randomized controlled trials of alirocumab or evolocumab with any relevant comparator reporting health outcomes, lipid outcomes, or harms through September 2015, and information was requested from manufacturers. Results were reviewed according to standard review methods. RESULTS: The database searches revealed 17 fair- and good-quality trials; however, none had primary health outcomes or directly compared PCSK9 inhibitors. Alirocumab (75 mg to 150 mg subcutaneously every 2 weeks) resulted in significantly greater reductions in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C; -8% to -67%) at 12-24 weeks in patients with (a) heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia and (b) patients at high or varied cardiovascular (CV) risk who were not at LDL-C goals with statin therapy. The highest strength evidence was for patients with high CV risk not at LDL-C goals. Alirocumab also resulted in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) increases of 6%-12%. Low- and moderate-strength evidence for adjudicated CV events at 52-78 weeks for a priori analyses indicated no benefit. Low- and moderate-strength evidence also found no differences in harms except possibly slightly more injection-site reactions. Evolocumab (120 mg subcutaneously every 2 weeks to 420 mg every 4 weeks) resulted in significantly greater reductions in LDL-C (-32% to -71%) at 12-52 weeks in patients with heterozygous or homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, patients intolerant of statins, and patients with varied CV risk not at LDL-C goal with statin therapy. The highest strength evidence was for heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia and patients not at LDL-C goals. Moderate-strength evidence showed HDL-C increases in the range of 4.5%-6.8%. Harms were not different between groups, except possibly slightly greater overall adverse event reporting. Evidence on adjudicated CV outcomes was insufficient to draw conclusions because of sparseness of events, study limitations, and inability to assess consistency of findings. CONCLUSIONS: Alirocumab and evolocumab have evidence of large improvements in lipid levels. The strength of the evidence is greater for alirocumab than evolocumab in patients with high CV risk who were not at LDL-C target goals, while evidence for evolocumab is stronger in patients with heterogeneous familial hypercholesterolemia and patients with varied CV risk who were not at LDL-C target goals. Evidence on adjudicated CV outcomes for a priori analyses is unable to show benefit for alirocumab and is insufficient to draw conclusions for evolocumab. Important questions remain about the comparative effects on long-term health outcomes.

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