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Expert Interview

Slingshot members are talking to an expert! The topic is:

Understanding how Vascepa fits in the prescription-based, pure EPA market in treating hypertriglyceridemia

Ticker(s): AMRN, TEVA, AZN, GSK

Who's the expert?

Name: Dr Matthew Budoff - MD

Institution: UCLA

  • Professor of Medicine and Endowed Chair of Preventive Cardiology at UCLA.
  • Treats hundreds of patients with hypertriglyceridemia, has prescribed Vascepa, and  has been in practice 25 years advancing procedures that can help doctors identify cardiac patients early and place them on a therapeutic path to prevent a heart attack.
  • Works on at least 20 active medical research trials at any given time, and has authored or co-authored over 800 research papers, seven books, and 45 book chapters. 

Interview Questions
Q1.

Please describe your clinical practice, and more specifically, how you treat patients with high hypertriglyceridemia.

Added By: c_admin
Q2.

For patients with a higher risk of heart disease or those that already have chronic heart disease, how effective is the lowering of triglycerides in prolonging the patients’ lifespan, and what other preventive measures must be taken, besides the lowering of triglycerides?

Added By: c_admin
Q3.

What is your preferred first-line treatment for lowering triglycerides and LDL-C?

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Q4.

Vascepa was FDA approved in 2012, and since then Amarin started a study to assess the long-term efficacy of the drug in the REDUCE-IT trial, where 4g/day are administered to patients with persistent elevated triglycerides after statin therapy. In your experience, how often is the case that patients on statins still present elevated triglycerides?

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Q5.

What is your opinion on the study's primary endpoint of the time to the first cardiovascular event (death, stroke, hospitalisation for angina etc.). Do you think this is an effective endpoint?

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Q6.

An open label, blinded endpoint outcomes study in Japan of low doses of prescription pure EPA added to statin therapies has been shown to produce further cardiovascular event reduction with moderately elevated triglycerides, by 19% in the overall population and by 53% in a subgroup of patients similar to those enrolled in the REDUCE-IT study. What is your opinion of those numbers, judging by your experience in prescribing Vascepa?

Added By: c_admin
Q7.

The first pharmaceutical companies to market prescription-based FDA and EMA regulated EPA omega 3 was Pronova (Norwegian company acquired by BASF) and Reliant Therapeutics( acquired by GSK). How does Vascepa fare in this landscape, with GSK's Lovaza being on the US market since 2004, AZN's Epanova and TEVA's generic version also FDA approved in 2014. What are the main differences between these drugs?

  • Unlike Lovaza, Epanova’s EPA and DHA fatty acids are already in free form, does that translate into better bioavailability? 
  • And what is the case with Vascepa? Are there any measurable qualitative differences? And also, what are the differences of EPA concentrations per capsule?

Added By: c_admin
Q8.

Vascepa appears to have anti inflammatory properties and atherogenic properties. What role do they play in hear disease?

Added By: lawleycpa

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