Pharmaceutical giant Novartis has reached a deal with the U.K. government to provide its late-stage cholesterol drug, inclisiran, to patients at high risk of a heart attack, the company announced Monday.
The drug, which is pending approval in the U.S., will be provided on a “population basis” to patients with atherosclerosis in the U.K. once it is tested in a large clinical trial and approved for use there.
According to CNBC, Inclisiran targets a protein called PCSK9 that is involved in producing LDL or “bad” cholesterol. The drug is intended to be used in addition to statins for patients who struggle to lower cholesterol with traditional therapy.
Cardiovascular disease causes 46 times the number of deaths and 11 times the disease burden caused by AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined in Europe, according to the World Health Organization.
Novartis picked up the heart drug as part of its completed $9.7 billion acquisition of The Medicines Company, challenging Amgen’s Repatha and Sanofi’s and Regeneron’s Praluent, which target the same protein as inclisiran. The company expects to file the drug with European regulators in the first quarter of this year, CNBC reported.
The deal, which will clear the way for fast review by regulators, was announced on the first day of the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, the industry’s biggest investing event of the year, in San Francisco.