Inclisiran. That’s the name of the wonder injection, recently approved by the United Kingdom’s NHS, for the treatment of cholesterol. A jab with the wonder cholesterol-lowering drug, expected to be administered twice in a calendar year, will be made available to 300,000 persons over the next three years.
The only hiccup is that Inclisiran will be available mainly to patients who are down with genetic conditions that predispose them to high cholesterol as is the case with those that have already suffered a heart attack, stroke or those that failed to respond well to statins, the other cholesterol-lowering drugs
“This is an emerging therapeutic technique that works by targeting the underlying causes of a disease, rather than the symptoms it causes. It does this by targeting a particular gene, and preventing it from making the protein that it produces.”
Interestingly, Gene-Silencing treatment technology has been reserved almost exclusively for rare genetic diseases. Extending it to cholesterol treatment would mean that it is now available on a wider scale. That perhaps explains why researchers are investigating the possibility of extending its use to treat other health conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
Already, there are excitements in the scientific arena following the approval of Inclisiran. Apart from what it is hoped to achieve, would-be beneficiaries are ecstatic because it uses a technique known as “gene silencing”, which works by targetting a particular Ribonucleic Acid, RNA.
In particular, the messenger RNA, mRNA, found in all cells of the body playing vital roles in the flow of genetic information, replicates and transports genetic instruction from the DNA and making particular proteins based on instructions received.
Inclisiran works by targeting a protein called PCSK9, involved in regulating cholesterol in our bodies but which occurs in excess in certain people with high levels of LDL cholesterol. It lowers cholesterol levels by degrading the protein and preventing it from being produced in the first place.