Volanesorsen for treatment of patients with familial chylomicronemia syndrome

B. A. Warden, P. B. Duell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Familial chylomicronemia syndrome (FCS) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder typically caused by mutations in genes for lipoprotein lipase (LPL), apolipoprotein C-II (Apo-CII), apolipoprotein A-V (Apo-AV), lipase maturation factor 1 (LMF1) and glycosylphosphatidylinositol- A nchored high-density lipoproteinbinding protein 1 (GPI-HBP1). FCS is associated with severe morbidity that includes recurrent pancreatitis and other problems. Effective treatment to reliably prevent complications has been unavailable, so there is a quest to identify novel interventions to achieve sustained triglyceride lowering and prevention of pancreatitis. Apolipoprotein C-III (Apo-CIII) interferes with triglyceride clearance by blocking LPL and alternative pathways. Volanesorsen is an experimental antisense oligonucleotide that inhibits translation of Apo-CIII mRNA, thereby substantially lowering plasma levels of Apo-CIII and triglycerides. It is being developed for treatment of patients with FCS and refractory hypertriglyceridemia. Data from a variety of clinical trials have been very encouraging, with documentation of excellent triglyceride-lowering efficacy, but there have been concerns about the risk of drug-related thrombocytopenia and bleeding that contributed to the recent decision by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to not approve the drug for clinical use. Clinical trials testing the safety and efficacy of volanesorsen are ongoing, so there is hope that the drug ultimately will be approved and available for treatment of high-risk patients with FCS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)721-735
Number of pages15
JournalDrugs of Today
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • Antisense therapy
  • Familial chylomicronemia syndrome
  • Oligonucleotides
  • Treatment of lipoprotein disorders
  • Volanesorsen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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