Local doctors, patients contribute to heart disease study

One study medication, generated by local research input, called Rapatha already has approval from Health Canada to treat high cholesterol.

  • Feb. 13, 2016 5:00 p.m.

With February being  National Heart Month, Kelowna researchers and study patients are contributing to a far-reaching study on the prevention and treatment of heart disease through their collaboration in global studies.

One of their study medications, Rapatha, has just recently received Health Canada approval for the effective treatment for high cholesterol.

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the world and research is being carried out globally in universities, hospitals and clinics to find better ways to save lives.

Kelowna cardiologists  Dr Halperin, Dr. Polasek, Dr. Pistawka, and their partners in research, The Medical Arts Health Research Group along with Kelowna patient volunteers, have been instrumental in providing the necessary data to support recent approvals received from Health Canada for an effective treatment for high cholesterol levels.

The new drug, popularly known as the PCSK9,  is a monoclonal antibody, a member of a new class of drugs which are proving effective in many diseases such as lupus, Alzheimer’s Disease, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Dr. Peter Polasek, of the Kelowna Cardiology Group, is of the principal investigators for this study. “We are happy to be able to participate in this world class research,” said Polasek.

Patients have been volunteering in this study for over four years, added Sara Burgess, study coordinator at Medical Arts Health Research cardiology clinic. “Without the dedication of the doctors and clinical patients, the approval of Rapatha, also known as PCSK9, would have not been possible.”

The newly approved medication fights elevated cholesterol which is recognized as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

“The approval of Repatha is an important development in the care of patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease who require additional LDL cholesterol lowering,” said Dr. G. B. John Mancini, UBC professor of medicine.  “Improving the management of cholesterol for these patients is a serious concern for cardiologists, so this new option is welcome.”

Anyone  wondering or concerned about cardiovascular health and  wishing to learn more about participating in studies can find further information through The Medical Arts Health Research Group. “Through these studies, we hope to provide important information which will help patients and caregivers make the best decisions for their care and well-being,” said Donna Benson, founder of Medical Arts Health Research Group.

For more information and to see if you or friend or family member would be eligible for cardiovascular related studies  please call 1.888.490.4320 or visit the website  HealthResearch.ca.


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