Lapaquistat (TAK-475) is a cholesterol-lowering drug. Unlike statins, which inhibit HMG-CoA reductase, lapaquistat metabolites inhibit squalene synthase, which is further downstream in the synthesis of cholesterol. It is hoped that side effects can be reduced by not disturbing the mevalonate pathway, which is important for other biochemical molecules besides cholesterol. However, there is increasing evidence that statins (which inhibit the mevalonate pathway) may be clinically useful because they affect these other molecules (including protein prenylation).
On March 28, 2008, Takeda halted further development of lapaquistat.
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