Yesterday, Amarin (AMRN) reported top-line results from a landmark Phase 3 study which showed that their product called Vascepa reduced the risk of major cardiac events by 25% in subjects whose LDL-cholesterol was controlled by statins, but who had various cardiovascular disease risk factors. The study, called REDUCE-IT, included over 8,000 subjects who were followed for over 4.5 years. Vascepa (Vascepa web site) is pure EPA, one of the fatty acids in fish oil. From several other previous studies, Vascepa has been shown to be effective at reducing blood lipid levels. Typical fish oil blends, like those available over the counter, can have unwanted side effects such as raising LDL-cholesterol and do not appear to reduce the risk of major cardiac events. That is why there was a lot of uncertainty going into the readout from the REDUCE-IT trial.
With a 25% reduction in the risk of major cardiac events in this high risk patient population, the REDUCE-IT trial appears to be a big win for AMRN. For shareholders, like my investment company Amp and our associated hedge fund, yesterday was a big day with AMRN shares up over 300%. More importantly, for society, this is a landmark study which should result in less hospitalizations and deaths from major cardiovascular events in coming years.
We look forward to presentation of detailed REDUCE-IT data as a major late-breaking session at the American Heart Associate annual meeting on November 10, 2018. Since Vascepa is an approved drug that has a relatively reasonable price and is covered by most insurances already, even before Vascepa's label is expanded, if the details of the REDUCE-IT study continue to impress, you may want to talk to your cardiologist about it if you or your loved one is at increased risk of a major cardiovascular event.