Health Report 3/31/13 New drug fights high Cholesterol

March 31st 2013

Do you know your LDL levels? It's the bad cholesterol in our bodies, and the American Heart Association says keeping it under 100 is best to avoid heart attacks and strokes.  But for some people, no matter what they do, their numbers skyrocket.  Now there's a drug that's just hit the market that could help bring it back down to earth.

Wenter Blair is a shutterbug.

Wenter Blair, HOFH patient, says: "Heaven forbid something does happen to me. My babies have a really good idea of who I am through my photography."

She suffers from an inherited condition called HOFH.  Her body cannot remove the bad cholesterol from her blood.

Wenter, "Every night I go to bed fearful that it might be my last night."

Wenter's LDL levels are usually around 350.  She had three heart attacks before she was 43.

Wenter, "I know I don't have it under control, and it scares the living crud out of me."

Kynamro was recently FDA approved to treat HOFH.

Paula Soteropoulos, GM Genzyme, says, "A technology that's been in development for 30 years and this is the first real breakthrough in that technology."

Developed in part by Genzyme, general manager Paula Soteropoulos says the once-a- week injection stops the production of cholesterol.  A clinical trial found, on average, patients taking Kynamro saw their LDL levels drop 25 percent.

Paula Soteropoulos, GM Genzyme, says: "This is getting them to levels that they've never seen before."

Wenter says this and other drugs in the works are giving her a better picture of what her future could be.

Wenter, "I want to live a really long time, and without them, I won't see the longevity that I so crave."

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