Purpose of review
Atherosclerosis, characterized by lipid accumulation and chronic inflammation in the arterial wall, is the leading causes of death worldwide. The purpose of this article is to review the status of RNA interference (RNAi) based therapies in clinical trials for the treatment and prevention of atherosclerosis risk factors.
There is a growing interest on using RNAi technology for the control of atherosclerosis risk factors. Current clinical trials utilizing RNAi for atherosclerosis are targeting lipid metabolism regulating genes including proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin 9, apolipoprotein C-III, lipoprotein (a) and angiopoietin-like protein 3. Currently, three RNAi-based drugs have been approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration, but there are several therapies in clinical trials at the moment, and potentially entering the market in near future. In addition, recent preclinical studies on regulating vascular inflammation have shown promising results.
In recent years, RNAi based technologies and therapies have been intensively developed for the treatment of atherosclerosis risk factors, such as hyperlipidemia and vascular inflammation. Multiple potential therapeutic targets have emerged, and many of the reported clinical trials have already been successful in plasma lipid lowering. The scope of RNAi therapies is well recognized and recent approvals are encouraging for the treatment of cardiovascular and metabolic disorders.