There is nothing more eagerly awaited in cardiovascular medicine than the results from a large clinical trial of a new cholesterollowering treatment. Called PCSK9 inhibitors, this class of drugs has been shown in earlier trials to silence the gene that creates LDL – or “bad” – cholesterol. The outcome of the large Phase III trial should be known soon. Cholesterol-lowering statins, the current standard-bearer in the fight against heart disease, have had a bad rap in recent years. While still regarded as safe and effective, their adverse side effects (such as muscle pain and weakness) cause many patients to discontinue therapy or take less than the recommended dose. Experts say PCSK19 inhibitors, while not without side effects, could be a viable option for statin-intolerant patients. The FDA last year approved PCSK19 for high-risk patients, saying the drugs will likely be used more widely, once the Phase III trial is completed. This is good news for New Zealand, where someone dies from heart disease every 90 minutes.