The cholesterol-lowering vaccine tested in humans


This vaccine was tested in rodents, more precisely in rats, and the reduction was about 50% in LDL cholesterol and fat deposits in their arteries.

This shows that if clinical trials on humans succeed, in a few years’ time, people with high cholesterol will be able to replace the daily dose of drugs with a simple vaccine. Following the success obtained in research previously conducted on mice, scientists at the Medical University of Vienna are now testing the cholesterol-lowering vaccine and also helps prevent heart attacks in humans.

According to a study published in the European Heart Journal, the vaccine, better known as AT04A, causes the body to produce antibodies against the enzyme PCSK9, which allows what is known as “bad cholesterol” (LDL) to accumulate in the blood, Risk of cardiovascular disease.

Published in The Guardian, it is read that vaccination of rats that were fed a high-fat, unhealthy diet allowed a 53% reduction in cholesterol. Already, blood vessel damage fell by 64% and inflammation of blood vessels also dropped by up to 28% compared to unvaccinated rats.

These results now open the way in the development of an annual vaccine for at-risk patients.

Gunther Staffler, a researcher at the center who developed the vaccine, also explained that “cholesterol levels have been consistently and permanently reduced, leading to reduced fat deposits in the arteries and atherosclerotic damage, as well as reduced Inflammation of the arterial wall”.

Thus, if the same results are obtained in humans, a “long-term therapy” can be developed, which, after the first vaccination, will only require an annual boost. Something that would lead to an effective and more comfortable treatment for patients.

Contrary to what happens with the most common vaccines, those aimed at bacteria and viruses, this is an immunotherapy treatment, since the immune system is stimulated to attack a protein in the body. According to the British daily, a phase 1 clinical trial was conducted to test the safety and captivity of the vaccine in 72 healthy subjects, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year. However, in order for the vaccine to be administered to humans, large-scale trials demonstrating its long-term efficacy and safety will be required.