Efficacy and Safety of Eicosapentaenoic Acid Ethyl Ester (AMR101) Therapy in Statin-Treated Patients With Persistent High Triglycerides (from the ANCHOR Study)

      AMR101 is an ω-3 fatty acid agent containing ≥96% pure icosapent-ethyl, the ethyl ester of eicosapentaenoic acid. The efficacy and safety of AMR101 were evaluated in this phase 3, multicenter, placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blinded, 12-week clinical trial (ANCHOR) in high-risk statin-treated patients with residually high triglyceride (TG) levels (≥200 and <500 mg/dl) despite low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol control (≥40 and <100 mg/dl). Patients (n = 702) on a stable diet were randomized to AMR101 4 or 2 g/day or placebo. The primary end point was median percent change in TG levels from baseline versus placebo at 12 weeks. AMR101 4 and 2 g/day significantly decreased TG levels by 21.5% (p <0.0001) and 10.1% (p = 0.0005), respectively, and non-high-density lipoprotein (non-HDL) cholesterol by 13.6% (p <0.0001) and 5.5% (p = 0.0054), respectively. AMR101 4 g/day produced greater TG and non-HDL cholesterol decreases in patients with higher-efficacy statin regimens and greater TG decreases in patients with higher baseline TG levels. AMR101 4 g/day decreased LDL cholesterol by 6.2% (p = 0.0067) and decreased apolipoprotein B (9.3%), total cholesterol (12.0%), very-low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (24.4%), lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (19.0%), and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (22.0%) versus placebo (p <0.001 for all comparisons). AMR101 was generally well tolerated, with safety profiles similar to placebo. In conclusion, AMR101 4 g/day significantly decreased median placebo-adjusted TG, non-HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, apolipoprotein B, total cholesterol, very-low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein in statin-treated patients with residual TG elevations.
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      Linked Article

      • ANCHOR Trial Conclusions Regarding the Effects of Pure Eicosapentaenoic Acid on Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol
        American Journal of CardiologyVol. 111Issue 3
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          In the ANCHOR trial publication, Ballantyne et al,1 evaluating AMR101 (icosapent ethyl) for the treatment of mixed dyslipidemia, concluded that omega-3 fatty acids containing only eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. The investigators' interpretation of the data regarding the effects of pure EPA on LDL cholesterol is misleading for 2 important reasons. First, the placebo used in the AMR101 trials was light liquid paraffin, more commonly known as mineral oil, a biologically active substance.
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