There had been an option for the trial to be stopped early if it
showed overwhelming efficacy at the interim stage but an independent
data monitoring committee recommended it should continue.
The trial involves more than 18,000 patients from 57 countries and
is designed to demonstrate that Praluent reduces the risk of serious
cardiovascular events, like heart attacks and strokes.
Some investors had thought the drug might be so effective that the
trial, called Odyssey Outcomes, would be halted at the interim
point, although many analysts had viewed this as an outside chance.
Praluent could still prove itself at the final stage, when more data
will have been amassed.
The treatment belongs to a new class of medicines targeting the
PCSK9 protein that maintains LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream.
They work differently from statins, which block the liver's
production of LDL cholesterol in the first place.
Amgen sells a rival product called Repatha.
[to top of second column]
(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Keith Weir)
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