Vaccine Offers New Treatment for High Cholesterol
A new vaccine tested in mice and monkeys has been found to significantly reduce levels of "bad" cholesterol, suggesting it could be a cheaper alternative to the medications now widely used.
Researchers at the University of New Mexico used a cholesterol-regulating protein in the blood to create a vaccine that could be used instead of statins. Statins generally are effective, but may also cause serious side effects.
The scientists tested a singe dose of the vaccine on four-to-six-week-old mice, and found that it significantly reduced LDL cholesterol levels. When combined with statins, the vaccine showed even greater LDL cholesterol reductions when used on nine to 17-year old monkeys.
The researchers believe the vaccine may be as effective in humans, and because of its lower cost, could be particularly useful in fighting cholesterol in developing countries.
They plan to conduct further testing of the vaccine in monkeys, and hope to move forward with vaccine development by teaming up with commercial partners.