The Future of Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs Is a Massive Market

Editor's note: Our colleague Dave Lashmet covers some of the most groundbreaking medical research in his Stansberry Venture Technology newsletter. And in his January issue, he detailed the massive potential in the cholesterol-lowering market. So today, we're sharing a piece of that issue to highlight how one drug class could change the game for those suffering from high cholesterol. As he explains, it's a major reason to be bullish on this space today...

"If you'd been home alone, you'd be dead."

In April 2020, 52-year-old Michael Capalbo was at work when he felt a burning sensation in his chest. Then his body tightened... and his arms and fingers curled up. He couldn't straighten them.

Michael's supervisor quickly called 911... and two days later, Michael woke up at the hospital.

Michael had a heart attack: His left anterior descending artery was completely blocked. This type of heart attack is known as the "widowmaker." Just 12% of people who have one of these heart attacks outside the hospital survive.

Michael says the heart attack was a long time coming...

"I was living the single life, going out just about every night and eating pizza and burgers and wings and drinking a beer or two," he said. "I just didn't think it would happen to me, or at least that's what I told myself."

The good news is, Michael has since changed his habits. He eats right, exercises, and has lowered his cholesterol.

You see, Michael had a common problem... Most of us spend our days sitting. Meanwhile, our diets are filled with animal fat.

The results can be tragic. As I'll highlight today, high cholesterol – combined with a lack of exercise – is the leading cause of heart attacks and strokes. And the existing drugs to lower cholesterol don't work for everyone.

But one of the big solutions to this problem could become a market worth billions of dollars...

First, take a look at the Wendy's "Baconator" burger below. It has 66 grams of fat. If you add large fries, that's another 21 grams of fat.

This is just one example. Humans simply can't eat this much animal fat. Virtually none of us are active enough to burn it off.

Your body stores this fat in the form of cholesterol. "Bad cholesterol" is low-density lipids ("LDL"). This means it's a mass of loosely bound fat. Unfortunately, this fat doesn't just make you gain weight... It also clogs your arteries.

See, a clog in your arteries is no simple plug. It's like a living wound. First, the bacteria find the cholesterol. Then, your white blood cells find the bacteria, and they fight it out.

The best your body can do is cover the whole thing up. You get a new cap of cells over the constant churn of cholesterol, bacteria, and white blood cells.

But if the cap breaks loose, you get free-floating debris in your bloodstream. This triggers a blood clot that can lodge in your heart, brain, or somewhere else.

There are three main things you can do to lower your cholesterol... First, you can change what you eat. Second, you can boost how much you exercise to burn off excess fat.

But if those two options don't work, folks can also take a drug.

That's what 200 million people around the world do every day. Typically, they turn to statin drugs – the most popular prescription drugs around the world.

But a staggering 1 in 4 people on statin drugs experience muscle pain and weakness...

For years, the side effects of statin drugs were considered a joke... a "nocebo." Since patients were often older, doctors dismissed their muscle weakness – despite millions of patients reporting a problem.

This muscle weakness was severe enough to keep heart patients sitting on the couch instead of being active. And when one of the top therapies for heart patients is exercise, that's a problem.

In 2023, two major scientific journals published data proving that muscle weakness is very real... and that it can be caused by the same receptor that statins hit.

The new muscle-weakness data comes from two sets of doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and Tel Aviv University in Israel...

The gene that matters to their research is called coenzyme A reductase ("CAR"), which makes mevalonate. Mevalonate builds cholesterol in your blood.

In short, CAR helps turn lipids into huge chains in the liver. This gets into your blood as loosely bound "bad" cholesterol. By design, statin drugs interfere with CAR... so on statins, you make less cholesterol.

In the six patients from the Mayo Clinic study, inherited mistakes in their CAR genes led to one sort of muscle weakness or another – basically a sort of muscular dystrophy. Each of these patients had severe muscle-weakness symptoms. Some folks even have muscle weakness so severe that they end up on respirators.

The study from Israel tracked a late-onset version of muscular dystrophy driven by similar mistakes in the CAR gene. But the ill effects seemed cumulative over time – exactly like statins' side effects.

So it seems statins hit people's muscles... triggering the same slow-onset muscular weakness that the CAR genetic disease does. In essence, the studies show that statin-caused muscle weakness and pain is real.

Again, that's a big problem. Heart patients need exercise. Exercise builds muscle, renews your blood vessels, and even protects your brain. But it can also reduce your risk of heart conditions, strokes, and death.

The science behind muscle weakness from statins is damning. And it's poised to change the future of cholesterol-lowering drugs...

New cholesterol-lowering drugs could help the 50 million people who can't tolerate statins. That unlocks potentially billions of dollars in annual revenue... And it's creating a major opportunity for investors.

You should know, these are not the same as weight-loss drugs. Cholesterol isn't tied to how much you weigh. It's based on what you eat. So, treating this will be a revolution in medicine...

And it's already underway... To solve for a better cholesterol drug requires a new class of novel compounds nearing regulatory approval now. This rigorous process is what it takes to turn an idea into a drug you can sell, that actually works – and gets covered by insurance.

So, this stuff isn't snake oil. It's the best that modern science and medicine can create.

My colleagues and I just released a new video to explain the medical advances that are taking place today. We start with weight-loss drugs... But my latest research explains much more, including these new cholesterol medicines.

And as we explain, if you're not paying attention to these stories, you're missing out on a revolutionary industry – and potentially life-changing investment gains. You can watch the video right here.

Good investing,

Dave Lashmet

Editor's note: Dave has recommended the biggest closed winner in Stansberry Research's history. He holds one of the top spots in our "Hall of Fame." Now, his research is pointing to the most lucrative advancement of the next several decades. It's a new treatment for a dangerous condition that afflicts millions of people. In fact, one of our own employees is sharing the story of how this medical breakthrough saved his life... Click here to learn the full details.

Further Reading

To find success in tech and biotech stocks, look for companies that are investing in the future. These are also the kinds of businesses that are building long-lasting value in the present. Here's one way you can uncover these winners... Read more here.

When it comes to investing in emerging technologies, it pays to think like a Rockefeller... or more specifically, a venture capitalist. By using a few basic clues, we can find the "no contest" companies that can beat out their competition... Learn more here.