Vaccines

The vaccination that staves off high cholesterol: Once-yearly injection could be alternative to statins

A Vaccination to protect against high cholesterol could cut the risk of heart disease without statins, research suggests.

The first human trials have already started of an injection which protects against dangerously high levels of cholesterol.

Experts hope the vaccine, which is administered once and then followed by an annual booster, could be available on the NHS in as little as six years.

Experts hope the vaccine could be available on the NHS in as little as six years
Experts hope the vaccine could be available on the NHS in as little as six years

Early tests on mice, conducted at Leiden University in the Netherlands, showed that the vaccine, known as AT04A, cut cholesterol by 53 per cent and reduced damage to blood vessels by 64 per cent.

The company behind the technology hopes to target people who cannot control their cholesterol with statins – a high-risk group including many who have suffered heart attacks, as well as those at lower risk who do not want to take a daily pill or are worried about side effects.

Experts think this could be a more reliable route to reducing cholesterol because people will not have to remember to take their pills every day.

Roughly 6million people in Britain currently take statins to reduce their risk of suffering a heart attack, stroke or other form of cardiovascular disease. Another…