This undated image provided by Amgen Inc. shows the cholesterol-lowering drug Repatha. (Robert Dawson/Amgen via AP, File)
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For the first time, a new drug given along with a cholesterol-lowering statin medicine has proved able to shrink plaque that is clogging arteries, potentially giving a way to undo some of the damage of heart disease.The drug, Amgen Inc.'s Repatha, also drove LDL, or bad cholesterol, down to levels rarely if ever seen in people before.The average for bad cholesterol stayed around 93 for people given only the statin, but dropped to 37 for those on both drugs. The amount of artery plaque stayed about the same for the statin-only group but shrank 1 percent in those also given Repatha. Some people with more dramatic LDL declines saw plaque shrink 2 percent.The best test of the new drugs' value will be large studies underway now to see whether drops in cholesterol will lead to fewer heart attacks and deaths.
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