Icosapent Ethyl Significantly Lowers Triglycerides Without Raising LDL-C

The ANCHOR study was not designed to determine effects on hsCRP or CV events.

Among statin-treated patients with persistent high triglycerides (TG 200–499mg/dL) and elevated high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP ≥2.0mg/L), treatment with icosapent ethyl (Vascepa; Amarin) 4g daily significantly reduced TGs, other potentially atherogenic lipids and inflammatory parameters without increasing LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) vs placebo, according to research presented at the ACC.18 Scientific Sessions & Expo.

Icosapent ethyl is a high-purity prescription eicosapentaenoic acid approved as an adjunct to diet to lower TGs in adults with TG ≥500mg/dL. It consists of the omega-3 acid (EPA) in an ethyl-ester form. 

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The ANCHOR study (N=702) randomized statin-treated patients at higher cardiovascular (CV) risk with TGs 200 to 400mg/dL despite LDL-C control (40–99mg/dL). In the 12-week post-hoc ANCHOR analysis (N=246), patients with baseline hsCRP ≥2.0mg/L were randomized to icosapent ethyl 4g daily or placebo. 

The results showed a statistically significant 20% reduction in TGs without an increase in LDL-C for the icosapent ethyl group vs placebo. In addition, icosapent ethyl demonstrated a significant 18% reduction of hsCRP vs placebo (P=0.02). Safety data were found to be consistent with overall ANCHOR study results and comparable to placebo.

The authors reported that the clinical relevance of these findings has not yet been determined. The Company’s REDUCE-IT trial is investigating the potential benefit of icosapent ethyl on CV outcomes in statin-treated patients with high CV risk, including patients with hsCRP ≥2.0mg/L.


Miller M, Ballantyne C, Bays, H, et al. Icosapent Ethyl (Eicosapentaenoic Acid Ethyl Ester) Reduces Potentially Atherogenic Lipid, Lipoprotein, Apolipoprotein, and Inflammatory Parameters in High-Risk, Statin-Treated Patients With Persistent Elevated Triglycerides and High-Sensitivity C-reactive Protein: A Post hoc Subanalysis of the ANCHOR Study. Presented at: ACC.18 Scientific Sessions & Expo. March 10–12, 2018; Orlando, FL. http://www.onlinejacc.org/content/71/11_Supplement/A1392