Pemafibrate is drug that has been designed to selectively and potently activate a receptor in the nucleus of the cell called PPARα (Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor, subtype alpha). Activation of the PPARα receptor leads to changes in the activity of a number of different genes in the nucleus, which in turn leads to a range of metabolic effects in the body. The main change is a reduction in the concentration of blood triglycerides, even in patients taking statins. Pemafibrate is licenced for use in Japan, as PARMODIA®, for the reduction of triglycerides, but is not yet approved for use in Europe and is currently undergoing clinical trials to assess its ability to reduce serious cardiovascular events in high risk populations.
There is increasing evidence that triglycerides are associated with the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks, stroke, and sudden death. The effect of pemafibrate on triglyceride concentrations, along with other beneficial effects on glucose metabolism and inflammation are expected to reduce the incidence of these events in patients who continue to be at risk of cardiovascular disease, despite statin therapy.
A large clinical trial (the PROMINENT study) has recently recruited 10,000 patients from around the globe to determine the extent to which pemafibrate can reduce heart attacks, stroke, hospitalisations for heart disease, and cardiovascular death in patients taking statins who continue to have high triglyceride concentrations. If the trial is successful, then pemafibrate could be an important treatment for use alongside statins to prevent what is still one of the leading causes of death in Europe.
Kowa are proud supporters of the Triglyceride Education and Research Forum, for more information on the importance of triglycerides click here https://www.triglycerideforum.org/