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Clin Cardiol. 2018 Dec;41(12):1513-1520. doi: 10.1002/clc.23112. Epub 2018 Nov 26.

Design of the randomized, placebo-controlled evolocumab for early reduction of LDL-cholesterol levels in patients with acute coronary syndromes (EVOPACS) trial.

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Department of Cardiology, Bern University Hospital, Bern, Switzerland.
PRISM Scientific Sàrl, Switzerland.
Department of Cardiology, Geneva University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland.
Cardiocentro, Lugano, Switzerland.
Department of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Research Institute Basel, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland.
Department of Cardiology, Fribourg Hospital and University, Fribourg, Switzerland.
Service of Cardiology, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Department of Cardiology, University Heart Center, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
CTU Bern, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.


Statins lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and improve clinical outcomes in patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD). Patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS) often do not achieve LDL-C targets despite potent statin treatment, and have a particularly high risk of early recurrent events. Evolocumab, a proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type (PCSK9)-inhibitor resulting in rapid, marked LDL-C reduction, has been studied in hypercholesterolemic subjects without CVD and stabilized patients with CVD; the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of this treatment initiated in the acute phase of ACS remain unknown. We report the design of evolocumab for early reduction of LDL-cholesterol levels in patients with ACS (EVOPACS), a phase-3, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to assess the feasibility, safety, and LDL-C-lowering efficacy of evolocumab on top of atorvastatin 40 mg in patients with ACS. The primary endpoint is percent change in LDL-C from baseline to 8 weeks. Secondary endpoints are adverse events and serious adverse events. Against a background of beneficial cardiovascular effects of statins beyond LDL-C lowering and in view of preclinical evidence of similar effects of PCSK9 inhibition, the study will also address a variety of exploratory endpoints including the change in C-reactive protein and other inflammatory biomarkers; platelet reactivity; and occurrence of contrast-induced acute kidney injury and myocardial injury in patients undergoing cardiac catheterization. An intracoronary imaging sub-study will investigate the change from baseline in the lipid core burden index in non-culprit lesions, as assessed by serial near-infrared spectroscopy. Recruitment began in January 2018 and enrollment of 308 patients is planned.


PCSK9 inhibitor; acute coronary syndrome; lipidology

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