USC Clinical Trials will participate in a study of an investigational medication for the treatment of dyslipidaemia – a condition that involves abnormally elevated levels of lipids (fats) in the blood.
The injectable medication aims to reduce specific forms of lipids, known as triglycerides, but could also reduce total cholesterol and bad cholesterol (known as LDL cholesterol).
High triglycerides are associated with increased risk of clogged arteries, heart attacks, strokes and circulatory issues and disorders, and often cause no symptoms. They are also often present in diabetes patients, making them more susceptible to vascular and circulatory complications.
USC Clinical Trials Operations Manager Georgina Street said this trial could help broaden the range of treatment options available for patients with dyslipidaemia.
“We will investigate a potential new therapy that could reduce triglycerides and therefore reduce the incidence of heart attacks, strokes and associated vascular or circulatory disorders in the community,” she said.
“Participants will be required to attend 11 clinic visits over a period of 25 weeks and receive two injections of the investigational medication one month apart.”
Mrs Street said the trial would be conducted alongside general practitioner Dr Susan Thackwray at the USC Clinical Trials Centre in Sippy Downs.
Dr Thackwray said there were currently limited treatments available for people with dyslipidaemia.
“Treatments that target high cholesterol can reduce your bad cholesterol by 30-50 percent, but usually only decrease your triglycerides by 10-20 percent,” she said. “And we know that high triglycerides are as important to treat as high cholesterol, and that there is a large unmet need for lowering lipids.”
She said patients with known or suspected high triglycerides, diabetic patients, patients with a known or suspected family history of high triglycerides, and patients already on lipid-lowering drugs could be eligible to participate in this trial.
“They will be able to continue their usual diabetic and lipid-lowering medications during the study period,” she said.
Adults aged 18-65 are encouraged to consider participating. Those who meet the criteria and are enrolled in the study will be reimbursed for their time. Patients interested in participating can go to usc.edu.au/trials.