A Tale of Two New Targets for Hypertriglyceridaemia: Which Choice of Therapy?

BioDrugs. 2022 Mar;36(2):121-135. doi: 10.1007/s40259-022-00520-2. Epub 2022 Mar 14.


Angiopoietin-like protein 3 (ANGPTL3) and apolipoprotein C-III (apoC-III) are novel metabolic targets for correcting hypertriglyceridaemia (HTG). As a background to their potential clinical use, we review the metabolic aetiology of HTG, particular abnormalities in triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (TRLs) and their role in atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) and acute pancreatitis. Molecular and cardiometabolic aspects of ANGPTL3 and apoC-III, as well as inhibition of these targets with monoclonal antibody and nucleic acid therapies, are summarized as background information to descriptions and analyses of recent clinical trials. These studies suggest that ANGPTL3 and apoC-III inhibitors are equally potent in lowering elevated plasma triglycerides and TRLs across a wide range of concentrations, with possibly greater efficacy with inhibition of apoC-III. ANGPTL3 inhibition may, however, have the advantage of greater lowering of plasma LDL cholesterol and could specifically address elevated LDL cholesterol in familial hypercholesterolaemia refractory to standard drug therapies. Large clinical outcome trials in relevant populations are still required to confirm the long-term efficacy, safety and cost effectiveness of these potent agents for mitigating the complications of HTG. Beyond targeting severe chylomicronaemia in the prevention of acute pancreatitis, both agents could be useful in addressing residual risk of ASCVD due to TRLs in patients receiving best standard of care, including behavioural modifications, statins, ezetimibe, fibrates and proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 inhibitors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Angiopoietin-Like Protein 3
  • Angiopoietin-like Proteins
  • Apolipoprotein C-III
  • Atherosclerosis*
  • Cholesterol, LDL / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hypertriglyceridemia* / complications
  • Hypertriglyceridemia* / drug therapy
  • Pancreatitis* / complications
  • Pancreatitis* / drug therapy
  • Pancreatitis* / prevention & control


  • ANGPTL3 protein, human
  • Angiopoietin-Like Protein 3
  • Angiopoietin-like Proteins
  • Apolipoprotein C-III
  • Cholesterol, LDL