What to Know About Lipoprotein(a)

Monday December 16, 2019

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the United States. While maintaining a healthy lifestyle, balanced diet, and exercising regularly have been encouraged as a way to avoid becoming a CVD statistic, new research suggests it is not enough for some people with high lipoprotein(a), also called “Lp(a)” for short. High Lp(a) is a casual factor for premature heart disease, including heart valve disease. Lp(a) levels are genetically determined by the LPA gene, which is inherited by children from their parents. An estimated 63 million people in the United States have inherited high Lp(a) caused by the LPA gene, meaning 1 in 5 Americans have the strongest monogenetic risk factor for coronary heart disease, stroke, and aortic valve disease.

What To Know About Lipoprotein(a)

Lp(a) is a particle in the blood carrying cholesterol, fats, and proteins. Lp(a) numbers tend to stay consistent throughout a person’s lifetime, with the exception of some fluctuation during menopause. There is always some level of cholesterol and Lp(a) in the bloodstream, however, higher levels drastically increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and aortic valve disease. Diet and exercise have little-to-no impact on these levels and the numbers are not usually reported in a normal blood panel.

Although a simple blood test can measure high levels of Lp(a), it is not included in most standard lipid panel tests that check cholesterol levels. A recent study found traditional cholesterol tests miss eight percent of people who have a cardiovascular event and whose only risk factor is high Lp(a). Unfortunately, there are not many symptoms of high Lp(a) and the first warning sign is often a catastrophic event such as a heart attack.

Treatment Options for Lipoprotein(a)

Abcentra is developing a treatment option for diseases in which high levels of Lp(a) are implicated, like aortic valve disease. Orticumab, the lead candidate, quells inflammation from oxidized lipids including lipoprotein(a) and oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL). Lp(a) and oxLDL accelerates inflammation and the build-up of plaque in the body. By targeting lipid-mediated inflammation, Abcentra aims to treat chronic and life-threatening conditions like CVD, plaque psoriasis, and aortic valve stenosis.

Abcentra recently presented its programs at the Lipoprotein(a) Foundation’s 2019 Scientific Advisory Board Meeting to share insights on Lp(a) and listen to the needs of the families who are impacted. The Lipoprotein(a) Foundation’s mission is to prevent cardiovascular disease and death related to Lp(a) through the education and empowerment of America’s patients. Abcentra aims to serve this patient community by developing therapies for families afflicted by high Lp(a).

Orticumab is a fully human monoclonal antibody with a novel mechanism of action, specifically developed to target inflammatory responses from lipids such as oxLDL and Lp(a). By targeting inflammation from oxLDL, Abcentra aims to treat serious inflammatory diseases where inflammatory lipids are implicated such as plaque psoriasis, accelerated atherosclerosis, and aortic valve stenosis. The available treatment options for these conditions and other inflammatory diseases are limited or non-existent and often comes with a long list of harmful side-effects. Abcentra aims to bring new, safer, and more effective treatment options to patients.