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People ‘immune’ to heart disease inspire new treatments

A rare group of people whose genetics make them virtually impervious to heart disease is guiding researchers to new drugs that may help the rest of us, The New York Times reports. Those drugs—currently being tested in clinical trials—aim to imitate what naturally happens in individuals who don’t make a protein called ANGPTL3.  These people have extraordinarily low LDL and triglyceride levels. In two separate reports, researchers write this week in The New England Journal of Medicine that treatment blocking the ANGPTL3 protein dramatically lowered lipid levels in mice and a small number of people. The studies weren’t designed to show whether treatment halted heart attacks too, but scientists are hopeful.