Pacific Biomarkers today announced that it has noted a study on the experimental cholesterol drug anacetrapib
SEATTLE, WA, November 18, 2010 —Pacific Biomarkers, Inc. (OTCBB: PBMC), a provider of biomarker laboratory services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and diagnostics industries, today announced that it has noted, with great interest, a study on the experimental cholesterol drug anacetrapib that describes its ability to boost good cholesterol dramatically higher and drop bad cholesterol dramatically lower, soliciting hopes for an entirely new way of preventing heart attacks, strokes and deaths.
The anacetrapib study, led by Dr. Christopher Cannon of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston on behalf of Merck & Co., was reported at a Chicago meeting of the American Heart Association. The drug works not by lowering LDL-C (“bad cholesterol”), as statins do, but by helping keep fat particles attached to HDL-C (“good cholesterol”), which carries them in the bloodstream to the liver for disposal. A six-month study involving 1,623 people given the drug found LDL-C scores falling from 81 to 45 (versus 82 to 77 with placebo) and HDL-C rising from 41 to 101 (versus 40 to 46 with placebo), large changes that have not been seen before. Merck has announced a 30,000-patient study to determine whether these results will translate into better medical outcomes.
Commenting on these findings, Amar A. Sethi, MD, PhD, Vice President of Research and Development at PBI, said that therapy focused on increasing HDL-C is highly warranted. Currently available therapy, he said, relies on only one class of drugs which, although efficient at increasing HDL-C levels, have side effects preventing clinicians from increasing dosage and boosting HDL-C up to a significantly beneficial value.
“This safety study will have a huge impact on the future of this class of drugs,” Dr. Sethi said. “It is encouraging that the investigators have reported no changes in the test subjects’ blood pressure or aldosterone levels. The 36% reduction in LDL-C and 138% increase in HDL-C reported in the study is astounding, but is worth noting that complete remission of symptoms can’t be guaranteed, as the study was too small to clarify the drug’s exact role in reducing the cardiovascular event rate.”
Dr. Sethi added that a point of caution is whether the huge increase in HDL-C levels will translate into comparable definite protection against heart disease. Ever since the failure of a previous drug, torcetrapib, demand has surged for developing methods that can reliably assess the function of the HDL-C particle. Although the initial results from the anacetrapib trial suggest a trend toward overall protection, more research is required. Future studies of anacetrapib, said Dr. Sethi, will include analysis of the functional properties of the raised HDL-C.
About Pacific Biomarkers, Inc.
Established in 1989, PBI provides biomarker laboratory services and contract research services to support pharmaceutical and diagnostic manufacturers conducting human clinical trial research. PBI provides expert services in the areas of cardiovascular and musculoskeletal diseases, diabetes, obesity, and nutrition. The PBI laboratory is accredited by the College of American Pathologists, New York State, and the Lipid Standardization Program. PBI’s clients include many of the world’s largest pharmaceutical, biotech, and diagnostic companies. PBI also provides clinical biomarker services focusing on the emerging field of biomarker assay development and testing. Services include validating and performing custom assays for novel clinical biomarkers, immunogenicity testing, cell-based assays, mass spectrometry, and multiplex testing.
PBI is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, and its common stock trades on the OTC Bulletin Board under the symbol “PBMC”.
For more information about PBI, visit PBI’s website at www.pacbio.com.
This press release includes forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, the following: results of business development activities; future growth; and the viability and acceptance of PBI’s biomarker services. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. These risks include, but are not limited to, the following: PBI’s ability to enter into contracts for its laboratory testing or biomarker services; client changes or early terminations of studies; variability in backlog; the success of marketing and business development efforts, and competitive factors; PBI’s ability to manage growth; and other risks and uncertainties set forth in periodic filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (including Form 10-K for the year ended June 30, 2009).
Pacific Biomarkers, Inc.
Ron Helm, CEO
The Investor Relations Group