Lundquist Institute Investigator Matt Budoff, Md, Presents Further Analyses Showing Icosapent Ethyl Significantly Reduces Coronary Plaque

Matthew Budoff, MD, Will Present the Analyses at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Preventive Cardiology 2021


LOS ANGELES (April 17, 2021) — Today, The Lundquist Institute announced that Matthew Budoff, MD, Director of Cardiovascular CT at the Institute and Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, will present further analyses from the Effect of Icosapent Ethyl on Progression of Coronary Atherosclerosis in Patients with Elevated Triglycerides on Statin Therapy: EVAPORATE Trial as Late- Breaking Science at European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Preventive Cardiology 2021, the Annual Congress of the European Association of Preventive Cardiology.

“The EVAPORATE plaque morphology study provides valuable insight into how we can utilize scientific imaging to examine the mechanisms at work that may contribute to observed clinical trial results,” said Matthew Budoff, M.D., Director of Cardiovascular CT at The Lundquist Institute and Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, the study sponsor. “The results suggest consistent benefits of icosapent ethyl on clinical cardiovascular outcomes as observed in the REDUCE-IT® cardiovascular outcomes study, and on plaque progression and plaque vulnerability as observed in EVAPORATE.”

Of the 80 patients that were enrolled in the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled EVAPORATE trial, 55 patients had images that were able to be utilized for the histology- validated software. The EVAPORATE plaque morphology study used ElucidVivo (Elucid, Boston, MA), the first FDA-cleared analysis for specific tissue characterization using histopathologic correlates to assess plaque morphology characteristics, including Lipid Rich Necrotic Core (LRNC), fibrous cap thickness, and intraplaque hemorrhage (IPH). Whereas with placebo LRNC increased and cap thickness decreased, both indicative of moving to a less stable phenotype, with icosapent ethyl there was a measured LRNC decrease and cap thickness increase, indicative of moving to a more stable phenotype.

“Coronary plaque stabilization is an important finding with VASCEPA and may explain, in part, the substantial cardiovascular benefit seen in REDUCE-IT,” said Craig Granowitz, M.D., Ph.D., Amarin’s senior vice president and chief medical officer. “The EVAPORATE plaque morphology study results provide additional insight into one of the likely multifactorial effects of VASCEPA, which effects collectively have been shown or observed to lower residual cardiovascular risk.”

The primary limitation of this single coronary plaque study, as identified by its investigators, is its small sample size. Additional study is needed to more fully understand the effects of VASCEPA on coronary plaque to determine the relationship, if any, of such plaque effects on cardiovascular risk reduction.

More information on the ESC Preventive Cardiology 2021 can be found here.