A recent clinical trial has shown promising results for bempedoic acid as an alternative to statins for those with elevated levels of LDL cholesterol who cannot tolerate statins. The trial involved 4,206 participants who were considered statin-intolerant, with 2,100 receiving 180mg of bempedoic acid once a day and 2,106 receiving a placebo. Over a period of around three years, the bempedoic acid group saw an average reduction of 30.2 mg/dL or 21.3% of LDL cholesterol levels. Additionally, the group had a 39% lower risk of heart attacks, a 39% lower risk of dying from heart disease, and a 36% lower risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke compared to the placebo group. The medication works by inhibiting adenosine triphosphate-citrate lyase (ACL), an enzyme that works earlier in the liver's cholesterol-making process, leading to increased expression of LDL receptors and more removal of LDL from the blood. However, the study only involved a subset of the population, and more studies are needed to determine whether bempedoic acid can truly serve as an alternative to statins. The study also noted some side effects, such as a higher percentage of those taking bempedoic acid developing gout, gallstones, and increases in serum creatinine, uric acid, and hepatic enzyme levels than those on the placebo. Nevertheless, the results are encouraging, considering the limited medication alternatives to statins.
Bempedoic acid lowers heart attack risk by 39%