Unlike previous cholesterol drugs that treat some aspect of blood or blood vessel walls, rimonabant is a cannabinoid receptor antagonist, which exerts its effect in parts of the brain that control appetite and addictive behaviors. Results of previous studies show that rimonabant reduces triglycerides and increases HDL-C, or "good" cholesterol, independent of weight loss. The new study, titled STADIVARIUS (Strategy to Reduce Atherosclerosis Development Involving Administration of Rimonabant- The Intravascular Ultrasound Study), will explore whether these effects will impact the progression of atherosclerosis.
"Obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol and coronary artery disease have all reached epidemic proportions to become leading causes of death despite being largely preventable," said Frederick S. Ling, M.D., director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, associate professor of Medicine at the medical center and principal investigator for STRADIVARIUS. "These risk factors, called metabolic syndrome when combined in one person, feed off each other and are made much worse by smoking. New approaches are urgently needed, and our lab has the tools to measure accurately whether new treatments actually slow the progression of coronary artery diseas
Contact: Greg Williams
University of Rochester Medical Center