Efficacy and safety of alirocumab in patients with hypercholesterolemia not adequately controlled with non-statin lipid-lowering therapy or the lowest strength of statin: ODYSSEY NIPPON study design and rationale

Lipids Health Dis. 2017 Jun 17;16(1):121. doi: 10.1186/s12944-017-0513-7.


Background: Statins are generally well-tolerated and serious side effects are infrequent, but some patients experience adverse events and reduce their statin dose or discontinue treatment altogether. Alirocumab is a highly specific, fully human monoclonal antibody to proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9), which can produce substantial and sustained reductions of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C).

Methods: The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, phase 3 ODYSSEY NIPPON study will explore alirocumab 150 mg every 4 weeks (Q4W) in 163 Japanese patients with hypercholesterolemia who are on the lowest-strength dose of atorvastatin (5 mg/day) or are receiving a non-statin lipid-lowering therapy (LLT) (fenofibrate, bezafibrate, ezetimibe, or diet therapy alone). Hypercholesterolemia is defined as LDL-C ≥ 100 mg/dL (2.6 mmol/L) in patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia or non-familial hypercholesterolemia with a history of documented coronary heart disease, or ≥120 mg/dL (3.1 mmol/L) in patients with non-familial hypercholesterolemia classified as primary prevention category III (i.e. high-risk patients). During the 12-week double-blind treatment period, patients will be randomized (1:1:1) to receive alirocumab subcutaneously (SC) 150 mg Q4W alternating with placebo for alirocumab Q4W, or alirocumab 150 mg SC every 2 weeks (Q2W), or SC placebo Q2W. The primary efficacy endpoint is the percentage change in calculated LDL-C from baseline to week 12. The long-term safety and tolerability of alirocumab will also be investigated.

Discussion: The ODYSSEY NIPPON study will provide insights into the efficacy and safety of alirocumab 150 mg Q4W or 150 mg Q2W among Japanese patients with hypercholesterolemia who are on the lowest-strength dose of atorvastatin, or are receiving a non-statin LLT (including diet therapy alone).

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov number: NCT02584504.

Keywords: Alirocumab; Cardiovascular risk; Hypercholesterolemia; Lipids; PCSK9 inhibitor; Statin; Statin intolerance.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / adverse effects
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Atorvastatin / adverse effects
  • Atorvastatin / therapeutic use
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Hypercholesterolemia / blood
  • Hypercholesterolemia / drug therapy*
  • Hypercholesterolemia / metabolism
  • Male
  • Proprotein Convertase 9 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Young Adult


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

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02584504