Novartis gets EU approval for potential blockbuster cholesterol drug Leqvio


Leqvio was approved for the treatment of adults with hypercholesterolemia or mixed dyslipidemia, making it the first and only approved small-interfering RNA (siRNA) low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) lowering treatment in Europe, Novartis said in a statement.

"Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of mortality in Europe, which demonstrates the urgent need for innovative treatments for patients struggling to reach their LDL-C goals,” Marie-France Tschudin, President Novartis Pharmaceuticals, was quoted as saying in the statement.

Novartis bought the treatment last year in its $9.7 billion takeover of The Medicines Co in a bid to challenge cardiovascular medicines from Amgen Inc, Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.

Leqvio, for use on top of statins by heart patients who struggle to lower their cholesterol levels with traditional therapy, complements Novartis’s business with its heart-failure medicine Entresto.

Leqvio is currently under review by the US Food and Drug Administration and other health authorities, Novartis said.