Lipid-Reduction Variability and Antidrug-Antibody Formation with Bococizumab

N Engl J Med. 2017 Apr 20;376(16):1517-1526. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1614062. Epub 2017 Mar 17.


Background: Bococizumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody targeting proprotein convertase subtilisin-kexin type 9 (PCSK9), reduces levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. However, the variability and durability of this effect are uncertain.

Methods: We conducted six parallel, multinational lipid-lowering trials enrolling 4300 patients with hyperlipidemia who were randomly assigned to receive 150 mg of bococizumab or placebo subcutaneously every 2 weeks and who were followed for up to 12 months; 96% were receiving statin therapy at the time of enrollment. The patients were assessed for lipid changes over time, stratified according to the presence or absence of antidrug antibodies detected during the treatment period.

Results: At 12 weeks, patients who received bococizumab had a reduction of 54.2% in the LDL cholesterol level from baseline, as compared with an increase of 1.0% among those who received placebo (absolute between-group difference, -55.2 percentage points). Significant between-group differences were also observed in total cholesterol, non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, apolipoprotein B, and lipoprotein(a) (P<0.001 for all comparisons). However, high-titer antidrug antibodies developed in a substantial proportion of the patients who received bococizumab, which markedly diminished the magnitude and durability of the reduction in LDL cholesterol levels. In addition, among patients with no antidrug antibodies, there was wide variability in the reduction in LDL cholesterol levels at both 12 weeks and 52 weeks. Major cardiovascular events occurred in 57 patients (2.5%) who received bococizumab and in 55 (2.7%) who received placebo (hazard ratio, 0.96; 95% confidence interval, 0.66 to 1.39; P=0.83). The most common adverse event among patients who received bococizumab was injection-site reaction (12.7 per 100 person-years).

Conclusions: In six multinational trials evaluating bococizumab, antidrug antibodies developed in a large proportion of the patients and significantly attenuated the lowering of LDL cholesterol levels. Wide variation in the relative reduction in cholesterol levels was also observed among patients in whom antidrug antibodies did not develop. (Funded by Pfizer; SPIRE numbers, NCT01968954 , NCT01968967 , NCT01968980 , NCT02100514 , NCT02135029 , and NCT02458287 .).

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies / blood*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / adverse effects
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / immunology*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / therapeutic use
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / adverse effects
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / immunology*
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / drug therapy*
  • Hypercholesterolemia / immunology
  • Injections, Subcutaneous / adverse effects
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proprotein Convertase 9 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Proprotein Convertase 9 / blood
  • Proprotein Convertase 9 / immunology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibodies
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Lipids
  • bococizumab
  • PCSK9 protein, human
  • Proprotein Convertase 9

Associated data