AMR101 is an omega-3 fatty acid agent containing ≥96% eicosapentaenoic acid ethyl ester and no docosahexaenoic acid. Previous smaller studies suggested that highly purified eicosapentaenoic acid lowered triglyceride (TG) levels without increasing low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. TG-lowering therapies such as fibrates, and fish oils containing both eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, can substantially increase LDL cholesterol levels when administered to patients with very high TG levels (≥500 mg/dl). The present double-blind study randomized 229 diet-stable patients with fasting TG ≥500 mg/dl and ≤2,000 mg/dl (with or without background statin therapy) to AMR101 4 g/day, AMR101 2 g/day, or placebo. The primary end point was the placebo-corrected median percentage of change in TG from baseline to week 12. The baseline TG level was 680, 657, and 703 mg/dl for AMR101 4 g/day, AMR101 2 g/day, and placebo. AMR101 4 g/day reduced the placebo-corrected TG levels by 33.1% (n = 76, p <0.0001) and AMR101 2 g/day by 19.7% (n = 73, p = 0.0051). For a baseline TG level >750 mg/dl, AMR101 4 g/day reduced the placebo-corrected TG levels by 45.4% (n = 28, p = 0.0001) and AMR101 2 g/day by 32.9% (n = 28, p = 0.0016). AMR101 did not significantly increase the placebo-corrected median LDL cholesterol levels at 4 g/day (-2.3%) or 2 g/day (+5.2%; both p = NS). AMR101 significantly reduced non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, apolipoprotein B, lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A(2), very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and total cholesterol. AMR101 was generally well tolerated, with a safety profile similar to that of the placebo. In conclusion, the present randomized, double-blind trial of patients with very high TG levels demonstrated that AMR101 significantly reduced the TG levels and improved other lipid parameters without significantly increasing the LDL cholesterol levels.
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