Lomitapide for treatment of homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia: The Québec experience

Atherosclerosis. 2020 Oct:310:54-63. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2020.07.028. Epub 2020 Aug 5.


Background and aims: Homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HoFH) is an orphan disease, most often caused by bi-allelic mutations of the LDLR gene. Patients with HoFH have elevated LDL-C levels >13 mmol/L, tendinous xanthomata and severe, premature atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). Untreated, most HoFH patients die of ASCVD in youth. New therapeutic modalities include lomitapide, an inhibitor of microsomal triglyceride transfer protein that lowers hepatic LDL-C production. We have recently identified 79 Canadian patients with HoFH. Here, we describe our experience with lomitapide in the province of Quebec, a geographic area known to have a high prevalence of HoFH.

Methods: This is a retrospective case series of 12 HoFH patients followed at three lipidology centers in the province of Quebec.

Results: Mean age of the patients was 44 ± 18 years; age at time of HoFH diagnosis ranged from 2 to 59 years. All patients were on a statin and ezetimibe 10 mg/day and five patients were treated with LDL apheresis. Treatment with lomitapide reduced LDL-C levels by 38% (intention-to-treat). Intolerable gastrointestinal side effects were observed in 3/12 patients and were the main reason for treatment discontinuation. Three patients tolerated lomitapide at doses ranging between 5 and 30 mg/day without major side effects. Downwards drug titration was necessary in the 6 remaining patients because of gastrointestinal side effects (n = 5) and elevated liver enzymes (n = 1), and 2 of them finally discontinued treatment.

Conclusions: Lomitapide may be used to further decrease LDL-C in HoFH patients; gastrointestinal side effects and hepatic toxicity may limit adherence.

Keywords: Homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia; Lomitapide; Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol; Orphan drug.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anticholesteremic Agents* / adverse effects
  • Benzimidazoles
  • Canada
  • Homozygote
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipoproteinemia Type II* / diagnosis
  • Hyperlipoproteinemia Type II* / drug therapy
  • Hyperlipoproteinemia Type II* / genetics
  • Middle Aged
  • Quebec
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • BMS201038
  • Benzimidazoles