A Canadian startup is out to rewrite one of the drug industry’s most painful cautionary tales, betting that an all-but-abandoned heart drug may actually work. But it’ll have to overcome significant evidence to the contrary and win over a deeply skeptical scientific establishment.

The company, DalCor Pharmaceuticals, is carrying the torch for the idea that improving good cholesterol, known as HDL, can prevent heart attacks and strokes for at-risk patients. It hopes its drug — part of a class of medicines called CETP inhibitors — can do just that by blocking what’s known as cholesterylester transfer protein.

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