AIMS: To compare the efficacy [low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) lowering] and safety of alirocumab, a fully human monoclonal antibody to proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin 9, compared with ezetimibe, as add-on therapy to maximally tolerated statin therapy in high cardiovascular risk patients with inadequately controlled hypercholesterolaemia.
METHODS AND RESULTS: COMBO II is a double-blind, double-dummy, active-controlled, parallel-group, 104-week study of alirocumab vs. ezetimibe. Patients (n = 720) with high cardiovascular risk and elevated LDL-C despite maximal doses of statins were enrolled (August 2012-May 2013). This pre-specified analysis was conducted after the last patient completed 52 weeks. Patients were randomized to subcutaneous alirocumab 75 mg every 2 weeks (plus oral placebo) or oral ezetimibe 10 mg daily (plus subcutaneous placebo) on a background of statin therapy. At Week 24, mean ± SE reductions in LDL-C from baseline were 50.6 ± 1.4% for alirocumab vs. 20.7 ± 1.9% for ezetimibe (difference 29.8 ± 2.3%; P < 0.0001); 77.0% of alirocumab and 45.6% of ezetimibe patients achieved LDL-C <1.8 mmol/L (P < 0.0001). Mean achieved LDL-C at Week 24 was 1.3 ± 0.04 mmol/L with alirocumab and 2.1 ± 0.05 mmol/L with ezetimibe, and were maintained to Week 52. Alirocumab was generally well tolerated, with no evidence of an excess of treatment-emergent adverse events.
CONCLUSION: In patients at high cardiovascular risk with inadequately controlled LDL-C, alirocumab achieved significantly greater reductions in LDL-C compared with ezetimibe, with a similar safety profile.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01644188.