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      Volanesorsen in the Treatment of Familial Chylomicronemia Syndrome or Hypertriglyceridaemia: Design, Development and Place in Therapy

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          Severe hypertriglyceridaemia is associated with pancreatitis and chronic pancreatitis-induced diabetes. Familial chylomicronaemia syndrome (FCS) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder of lipid metabolism characterised by high levels of triglycerides (TGs) due to failure of chylomicron clearance. It causes repeated episodes of severe abdominal pain, fatigue and attacks of acute pancreatitis. There are few current options for its long-term management. The only universal long-term therapy is restriction of total dietary fat intake to <10-15% of daily calories (15 to 20g per day). Many patients have been treated with fibrates and statins with a variable response, but many remain susceptible to pancreatitis. Other genetic syndromes associated with hypertriglyceridaemia include familial partial lipodystrophy (FPLD). Targeting apolipoprotein C3 (apoC3) offers the ability to increase clearance of chylomicrons and other triglyceride-rich lipoproteins. Volanesorsen is an antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) inhibitor of apoC3, which reduces TG levels by 70–80% which has been shown also to reduce rates of pancreatitis and improve well-being in FCS and reduce TGs and improve insulin resistance in FPLD. It is now undergoing licensing and payer reviews. Further developments of antisense technology including small interfering RNA therapy to apoC3 as well as other approaches to modulating triglycerides are in development for this rare disorder.

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          Most cited references 74

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          Cardiovascular and Metabolic Effects of ANGPTL3 Antisense Oligonucleotides.

          Background Epidemiologic and genomewide association studies have linked loss-of-function variants in ANGPTL3, encoding angiopoietin-like 3, with low levels of plasma lipoproteins. Methods We evaluated antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) targeting Angptl3 messenger RNA (mRNA) for effects on plasma lipid levels, triglyceride clearance, liver triglyceride content, insulin sensitivity, and atherosclerosis in mice. Subsequently, 44 human participants (with triglyceride levels of either 90 to 150 mg per deciliter [1.0 to 1.7 mmol per liter] or >150 mg per deciliter, depending on the dose group) were randomly assigned to receive subcutaneous injections of placebo or an antisense oligonucleotide targeting ANGPTL3 mRNA in a single dose (20, 40, or 80 mg) or multiple doses (10, 20, 40, or 60 mg per week for 6 weeks). The main end points were safety, side-effect profile, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic measures, and changes in levels of lipids and lipoproteins. Results The treated mice had dose-dependent reductions in levels of hepatic Angptl3 mRNA, Angptl3 protein, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, as well as reductions in liver triglyceride content and atherosclerosis progression and increases in insulin sensitivity. After 6 weeks of treatment, persons in the multiple-dose groups had reductions in levels of ANGPTL3 protein (reductions of 46.6 to 84.5% from baseline, P<0.01 for all doses vs. placebo) and in levels of triglycerides (reductions of 33.2 to 63.1%), LDL cholesterol (1.3 to 32.9%), very-low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (27.9 to 60.0%), non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (10.0 to 36.6%), apolipoprotein B (3.4 to 25.7%), and apolipoprotein C-III (18.9 to 58.8%). Three participants who received the antisense oligonucleotide and three who received placebo reported dizziness or headache. There were no serious adverse events. Conclusions Oligonucleotides targeting mouse Angptl3 retarded the progression of atherosclerosis and reduced levels of atherogenic lipoproteins in mice. Use of the same strategy to target human ANGPTL3 reduced levels of atherogenic lipoproteins in humans. (Funded by Ionis Pharmaceuticals; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02709850 .).
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            Antisense oligonucleotide inhibition of apolipoprotein C-III reduces plasma triglycerides in rodents, nonhuman primates, and humans.

            Elevated plasma triglyceride levels have been recognized as a risk factor for the development of coronary heart disease. Apolipoprotein C-III (apoC-III) represents both an independent risk factor and a key regulatory factor of plasma triglyceride concentrations. Furthermore, elevated apoC-III levels have been associated with metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes mellitus. To date, no selective apoC-III therapeutic agent has been evaluated in the clinic. To test the hypothesis that selective inhibition of apoC-III with antisense drugs in preclinical models and in healthy volunteers would reduce plasma apoC-III and triglyceride levels. Rodent- and human-specific second-generation antisense oligonucleotides were identified and evaluated in preclinical models, including rats, mice, human apoC-III transgenic mice, and nonhuman primates. We demonstrated the selective reduction of both apoC-III and triglyceride in all preclinical pharmacological evaluations. We also showed that inhibition of apoC-III was well tolerated and not associated with increased liver triglyceride deposition or hepatotoxicity. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase I clinical study was performed in healthy subjects. Administration of the human apoC-III antisense drug resulted in dose-dependent reductions in plasma apoC-III, concomitant lowering of triglyceride levels, and produced no clinically meaningful signals in the safety evaluations. Antisense inhibition of apoC-III in preclinical models and in a phase I clinical trial with healthy subjects produced potent, selective reductions in plasma apoC-III and triglyceride, 2 known risk factors for cardiovascular disease. This compelling pharmacological profile supports further clinical investigations in hypertriglyceridemic subjects.
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              Apolipoprotein A-V; a potent triglyceride reducer.

              Since its discovery, apolipoprotein A-V has been considered to be a potent factor affecting plasma triglycerides (TG) in humans and mice. Several single nucleotide polymorphisms in the APOA5 gene are associated with increased TG levels in humans, and some nonsense mutations affecting protein structure predispose for familial hypertriglyceridemia and late onset chylomicronemia. It is not clear, how apoA-V decreases plasma TG. There are three major hypotheses: apolipoprotein A-V could work through (1) an intracellular mechanism affecting VLDL production in the liver, (2) stimulation of proteoglycan-bound lipoprotein lipase at the endothelium of capillaries in peripheral organs, or (3) enhancing the clearance of TG-rich lipoproteins via lipoprotein receptors in the liver. There is good evidence for a role of apoA-V in extracellular TG metabolism and increasing support for an additional function of ApoA-V as a receptor ligand. The intracellular role of apoA-V for lipoprotein assembly and secretion is still speculative. This review discusses these possible mechanisms. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

                Author and article information

                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                06 July 2020
                : 14
                : 2623-2636
                [1 ]Department of Metabolic Medicine/Chemical Pathology, Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospitals , London SE1 7EH, UK
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Anthony S Wierzbicki Department of Chemical Pathology, St. Thomas’ Hospital , Westminster Bridge Road, LondonSE1 7EH, UKTel +0207 188 1256Fax +0207 188 7325 Email anthony.wierzbicki@kcl.ac.uk
                © 2020 Esan and Wierzbicki.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 2, References: 99, Pages: 14


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