STUDY: WELCHOL PLUS STATIN THERAPY EFFECTIVE IN TREATING HIGH CHOLESTEROL

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Adding Daiichi Sankyo's WelChol (colesevelam hydrochloride) to stable statin therapy -- such as Zocor (simvastatin), Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium) or Pravachol (pravastatin sodium) -- further reduced mean LDL-C, or "bad" cholesterol, and median high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) levels, according to research published in the American Journal of Cardiology.

"Bile acid sequestrants were one of the first approved cholesterol- lowering drugs, having been studied in the 1970s, before hs-CRP was routinely measured," said lead study investigator Harold Bays, a physician at the Louisville Metabolic and Atherosclerosis Research Center in Louisville, Ky. "This analysis finally brings the past to the present, in that it is the first to show that a non-systemic agent added to a statin statistically reduces hs-CRP, an important marker of arterial inflammation."

The study results also indicated that WelChol plus a statin significantly lowered mean LDL-C levels more than a placebo, while also significantly reducing mean total cholesterol and increasing mean apo A-1 versus placebo. Four times more patients in the study reached the target LDL-C goal of less than 100 mg/dL when WelChol was added to a statin, compared to placebo -- 39 percent versus 10 percent, respectively.