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Daiichi Sankyo’s SANTORINI Study Gets Underway, Investigating Cholesterol Care Across Europe

Daiichi Sankyo Europe GmbH (hereafter, ‘Daiichi Sankyo’) today announced that the first patients have been enrolled in a multinational, prospective, observational study that will assess, in a real-world setting, the effectiveness of current treatment and management of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels in 8,000 patients with hypercholesterolaemia at high and very high risk of cardiovascular events. The study will recruit patients from approximately 800 sites in 14 countries across Europe.

“The evidence is clear that the lower the LDL-C level achieved, the lower the risk of cardiovascular events such as ischaemic heart attack and strokes, and this is reflected in the latest European Society of Cardiology guidelines,” said Professor Alberico L. Catapano, Chairperson of the guidelines Task Force and Professor of Pharmacology at the Department of Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Milan and Multimedica IRCCS, Italy. “The SANTORINI study will provide important insights into how patients are currently being managed and the effectiveness of the treatments they are receiving. This in turn will help us identify opportunities to improve care in clinical practice.”

“During this unprecedented time many people are avoiding clinics and hospitals for fear of contracting the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but this prevents them accessing important treatment for cardiovascular disease. Daiichi Sankyo has been working closely with SANTORINI trial sites to ensure we follow local recommendations to progress the study in the most effective and safest way possible,” said Dr. Inaam Haq, Medical Affairs Director, Antithrombotic & Cardiovascular at Daiichi Sankyo Europe. “Cardiovascular disease kills over four million people in Europe every year, and up to 80% of people taking statins do not reach target LDL-C levels, which means they are at increased risk of a heart attack or stroke. Daiichi Sankyo is committed to addressing this human and economic burden and ensuring the SANTORINI study is able to go ahead and provide us with key insights to support these patients.”

Daiichi Sankyo Europe has exclusive commercialisation rights to bempedoic acid, which is being developed as a first-in-class, affordable, convenient, once-daily, oral therapy for people with hypercholesterolaemia who are unable to reach LDL-C goals after optimised oral lipid-lowering therapies and remain at high risk of a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke. Bempedoic acid and the bempedoic acid / ezetimibe fixed dose combination (FDC) tablet was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in February 2020 and by the European Commission in March 2020.

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About SANTORINI

The SANTORINI study is a multinational, prospective, observational study that will enrol 8,000 patients from 800 sites in 14 countries across Europe. The primary objective is to document, in the real-world setting, the effectiveness of current treatment modalities in managing plasma levels of LDL-C in high- and very high-risk patients requiring lipid-lowering therapies. The study population consists of high- and very high-risk patients previously diagnosed and treated as well as newly diagnosed and requiring treatment.

Only data from routine clinical practice will be documented and physicians will not be required to perform any mandatory assessment outside the routine clinical practice. To facilitate accurate recording of data, patients can optionally fill in a memory aid to note important details. Data collection is estimated to finish in Q4 of 2021 with a final report of the study results estimated for Q4 of 2022.

Bempedoic acid

With a targeted mechanism of action, bempedoic acid is a first-in-class, oral, once-daily ATP Citrate Lyase (ACL) inhibitor that reduces cholesterol synthesis in the liver and thereby lowers circulating LDL-C levels.1,2 It is intended for patients with hypercholesterolaemia and/or at high risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) who need additional LDL-C lowering despite maximally-tolerated statin therapy.

Bempedoic acid has a unique mechanism of action which is complementary, yet distinct from other lipid-lowering therapies, such as statins.3 Due to its liver-specific mechanism, bempedoic acid has a reduced potential to induce the muscle-related side effects commonly associated with statin therapy and provide additional LDL-C lowering on top of statin monotherapy in clinical trials.

Daiichi Sankyo Europe has licensed exclusive commercialisation rights to these products in the European Economic Area and Switzerland from Esperion.

About Daiichi Sankyo

Daiichi Sankyo Group is dedicated to the creation and supply of innovative pharmaceutical therapies to improve standards of care and address diversified, unmet medical needs of people globally by leveraging our world-class science and technology. With more than 100 years of scientific expertise and a presence in more than 20 countries, Daiichi Sankyo and its 15,000 employees around the world draw upon a rich legacy of innovation and a robust pipeline of promising new medicines to help people. In addition to a strong portfolio of medicines for cardiovascular diseases, under the Group’s 2025 Vision to become a “Global Pharma Innovator with Competitive Advantage in Oncology,” Daiichi Sankyo is primarily focused on providing novel therapies in oncology, as well as other research areas centred around rare diseases and immune disorders. For more information, please visit: www.daiichisankyo.com .


1 Ray KK, et al. Safety and Efficacy of Bempedoic Acid to Reduce LDL Cholesterol. N Engl J Med. 2019; 380:1022–32.
2 Ballantyne CM, et al. Efficacy and safety of bempedoic acid added to ezetimibe in statin-intolerant patients with hypercholesterolemia: A randomized, placebo-controlled study. Atherosclerosis .2018;277:195–203.
3 Laufs U, et al. Efficacy and Safety of Bempedoic Acid in Patients with Hypercholesterolemia and Statin Intolerance. J Am Heart Assoc. 2019;8(7): e011662.

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