Too much bad cholesterol in the blood can lead to plaques which clog blood vessels and increase the chance of heart attack and stroke.
Many patients at higher risk, such as those with diabetes, inherited conditions or who have previously had heart attack or stroke, are prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs, like statins, to reduce their risk.
The new treatment was effective even if a patient was already taking cholesterol-lowering treatment meaning it could also be offered to people already taking statins who want to see an additional benefit.
Commenting on the results, which were published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Prof Sir Nilesh Samani, Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “On the whole statins do a great job of lowering cholesterol.
“However, this new drug could provide real benefit for the few people who can’t take them or require additional treatments to get it to the right level.
“The research suggests that it has the potential to reduce risk of heart attacks and strokes without major side effects.”
The new findings were reported in the New England Journal Of Medicine.