The showdown over a highly anticipated new class of cholesterol drugs is coming to a head this year, when the Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve therapies from Regeneron, Sanofi and Amgen in a market estimated at up to $10 billion.
Known as PCSK9 inhibitors, the medicines have been shown to lower LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, by as much as 72 percent. Data from Regeneron and partner Sanofi have also indicated those reductions may translate into improved cardiovascular outcomes, such as a decline in heart attacks and other effects of high cholesterol.
This weekend at the American College of Cardiology conference in San Diego, Amgen will present some of its outcomes data as well, further heating up the race and shedding more light on the class in general.
"By the end of the next decade there are probably 25 million people every year who will die from cardiovascular disease," Regeneron Chief Executive Len Schleifer said in September on CNBC's "Squawk Box." "It's really a big problem. And while statins have done a great job at lowering the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, we find that many people just can't get to their goal, and still have a very high risk."