Lexicon Pharmaceuticals Inc. published data last week showing that its antibodies against angiopoietin-like protein 4 produce beneficial effects on triglycerides and cholesterol levels in mice. The company, which says it has the most advanced program targeting angiopoietin-like proteins, intends to develop a lipid-regulating antibody for use in severe cardiovascular disease.

Angiopoietin-like protein 4 (Angptl4), part of a family of secretory proteins that affect glucose and lipid metabolism, is believed to inhibit lipoprotein lipase, an enzyme that hydrolyzes lipids in lipoproteins. In this way, the adipokine plays a major role in the partitioning of fatty acids between sites of storage and sites of oxidation.