ANN ARBOR — The biopharmaceutical company AlphaCore Pharma Friday announced it had started a Phase 1 study of its drug candidate, ACP-501, for the treatment of high-risk atherosclerosis and serious lipid metabolism disorders.

The study is designed to assess the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and lipid effects of ACP-501.

The trial will be conducted by the National Institutes of Health and Robert D. Shamburek, M.D., will serve as the principal investigator of the study.

Bruce Auerbach, president of AlphaCore Pharma, said that ACP-501 represents a promising new approach in the fight against atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and has demonstrated preclinical efficacy in promoting HDL maturation and cholesterol flux, natural cardioprotective mechanisms by which excess lipids are removed from peripheral tissues.

The program has an eventual goal to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in patients presenting with acute coronary syndromes.

ACP-501 is recombinant human lecithin, cholesterol acyltransferase (or rhLCAT), an enzyme required for cholesterol metabolism. Additionally, ACP-501 is being developed to treat familial LCAT deficiency (an orphan designated enzyme replacement therapy) and other diseases where LCAT activity is low.

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