Academic Editors: Manuel Martínez-Sellés and John Elefteriades
Nowdays a small proportion of patients with high/very high/extreme atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk achieves the optimal target of LDL-cholesterol, because of drug intolerance, poor adherence to the therapy, or inapplicability of the stepwise strategy in lipid lowering therapy, recommended by the current guidelines. The new oral agent bempedoic acid lowers plasma LDL-cholesterol by inhibiting adenosine triphosphate-citrate lyase, an enzyme involved in the synthesis of cholesterol, and, ultimately, by up-regulating the LDL receptors. Several clinical trials in patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease or familial heterozygous hypercholesterolemia demonstrated that bempedoic acid alone or combined with statins and/or ezetimibe significantly reduced LDL-cholesterol and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein. Bempedoic acid is well tolerated with no significant increase in muscle-related symptoms, since it can be activated only in the liver but not in the skeletal muscles. Bempedoic acid provides an effective tool to further reduce LDL-cholesterol as add on therapy in patients unable to reach the target despite maximally tolerated lipid lowering therapy.