September 22, 2008
Drug Prevents Vascular Plaques In Pigs

When it isn't the mice getting all the hot new drug treatments before humans do it is the pigs that get the latest that science has to offer. A drug blocks formation of atherosclerotic plaques.

PHILADELPHIA – Using the drug darapladib, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and colleagues have inhibited a cholesterol-and immune system-associated protein, thereby reducing the development of heart-disease plaques that may cause death, heart attacks, and strokes in a pig model of atherosclerosis and diabetes. The study appeared online this week in Nature Medicine.

Though to be fair the drug was recently tested in human trials in Europe. So the message here is that European humans and American pigs rank above American humans in getting the new drugs. We can't eat the Europeans but we can certainly get even with the pigs by eating ham. Though the ham will probably cause clogged arteries. No wonder the pigs are hogging this drug for themselves. They obviously want us to die and leave them alone.

This drug blocks an enzyme which is involved with LDL cholesterol.

A molecule called lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) is connected with LDLs circulating in the blood. Elevated levels of Lp-PLA2 in the blood predict an increased risk of heart disease events and are related to the development of the necrotic core of plaques. Darapladib specifically inhibits Lp-PLA2.

“The results are exciting,” says Wilensky. “First, darapladib reduced the overall amount and size of plaques that block the coronary arteries of animals in the study. More importantly, it reduced the number and size of the type of advanced plaques that cause heart attacks and strokes. “

Artery clogging looks set to become preventable years before we can cure cancer.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2008 September 22 11:46 PM  Aging Cardiovascular Studies

Tiglath said at September 24, 2008 4:21 PM:

"Though to be fair the drug was recently tested in human trials in Europe. So the message here is that European humans and American pigs rank above American humans in getting the new drugs."

Ridiculous comments like that serve no good purporse. For years now it has been fashionable to spread the canard that "Whatever is done in Europe is better than whatever is done in America!" This is especially popular among this country's leftists. Two points for the intellectually arrogant to ponder:

1) The US federal government's National Cancer Institute alone (not the only source of cancer research funding at the federal level) spends more than two and a half times the total spent by all non-commercial sources for cancer research in Europe. (Memory jab here)

2) During the late 1950s-early 60s a drug that was widely prescribed in Europe as an anti-emetic and mild sedative for pregnant women was denied FDA approval here (thanks to the wise caution exercised by Frances Oldham Kelsey) because "it needed more study." The drug? Thalidomide.

Yes, I know Europeans are, on average, healthier than their American counterparts, but that has more to do with the fact Americans are a lot fatter and more sedentary than with any "miracle" European medicine, a lot of which is researched and developed here. Europeans may boast of their socialized medicine (and let's see how much longer THAT'S going to last now that the EU member nations' NHSs are becoming increasingly cash-strapped) but I still prefer the quality of ours to theirs.

Randall Parker said at September 24, 2008 9:55 PM:


My ridiculous comment does too serve a purpose. For regular readers who know I've previously speculated that mice control scientists and trick them into developing medical treatments for mice my latest comment is perfectly understandable and agreeable.

Stephen Gordon said at September 25, 2008 1:01 PM:

Well, I thought it was funny.

Randall Parker said at September 25, 2008 8:46 PM:


Thank you. I thought it was too. I think it is pretty funny that the pigs and mice are manipulating scientists to do their bidding. Other people are offended at the notion.

Oh, and don't you love the human rights group PETA masquerading as an animal rights organization? I think that's a big laugh. It is like the emperor not wearing any clothes.

HellKaiserRyo said at September 25, 2008 10:53 PM:

"Routine measurements of systolic blood pressure showed a difference between the groups (darapladib showed mean difference of 3.0 mm Hg, above placebo, p=0.031) that was not previously observed in other clinical trials with darapladib. A post-hoc analysis of intra-arterial blood pressure measured during the IVUS procedure, however, showed no differences in systolic blood pressure between the groups."

If it increases blood pressure, then this drug is probably done. Sort of reminds me of torcetrapib.

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