Alirocumab for the treatment of hypercholesterolaemia

Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol. 2017 Jun;10(6):571-582. doi: 10.1080/17512433.2017.1318063. Epub 2017 Apr 18.


Prescription of statins for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) reduction is the standard of care in primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease; nevertheless, a large number of patients treated with statins are unable to reach the recommended LDL-C targets. Therefore, there is need for safe and effective novel therapies for the pharmacological management of hypercholesterolaemia, in addition or as alternative to lipid-lowering therapies (LLT) currently in use. Areas covered: In 2015, the Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency approved alirocumab (Praluent®; Sanofi), a fully human monoclonal antibody against proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9), for the treatment of hypercholesterolaemic patients unable to meet LDL-C targets, as an adjunct to diet in addition/alternative to LLT. The authors review the pharmacological features, clinical efficacy, and safety of alirocumab in lowering LDL-C, and discuss its therapeutic perspectives based on the most recent clinical trials. Expert commentary: Alirocumab causes a marked reduction in LDL-C, presents good safety and tolerability, and represents a promising approach for LDL-C lowering, particularly in patients with intolerance to statin or elevated LDL-C despite maximal statin therapy; nevertheless, further long-term data on safety and efficacy are necessary, such as data on the improvement of cardiovascular outcomes.

Keywords: Alirocumab; LDL-cholesterol; PCSK9; hypercholesterolaemia; monoclonal antibody.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / adverse effects
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / adverse effects
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / pharmacology
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Hypercholesterolemia / complications
  • Hypercholesterolemia / drug therapy*
  • Proprotein Convertase 9 / antagonists & inhibitors


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • PCSK9 protein, human
  • Proprotein Convertase 9
  • alirocumab