A group of researchers on Saturday said that an experimental drug has showed remarkable efficacy in treating patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction and holds the potential to replace over 20 years old bedrock treatment for heart related woes.
The heart drug is being developed by the Swiss drug maker Novartis. The drug is known by the code name LCZ696.
According to the researchers, the new experimental drug lowered the death risk from cardiovascular causes and the hospitalization risk from heart failure by about 20 percent in a large clinical study.
Lauding the findings of the clinical trial, lead study investigator Dr. Milton Packer said, “I think that when physicians see these data, they will find it compelling and what we will see is a paradigm shift.”
Dr. Packer is a professor of clinical sciences at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
According to the Novartis, it will file for the drug approval in the US by the 2014-end and in the first quarter of 2015 in European market.
The findings of the clinical trial will be presented at the European Society of Cardiology congress in Barcelona, Spain this weekend. The study was published on Saturday by The New England Journal of Medicine.
According to a recent paper in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, around five to six million people in the United States have heart failures. And an estimated 26 million people suffer the heart woes globally. Moreover, the report said that it is the leading cause of hospitalization in the US and Europe. Health experts say heart failures lead to deaths in many cases within a few years of diagnosis.
Dr. Clyde W. Yancy, chief of the cardiology division in Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, said, “They are not just positive, they are remarkably positive and positive in every dimension. Patients with heart failure are eager, if not desperate to have better options.”
Dr. Marc A. Pfeffer, a cardiologist at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, said, “It really is an advance, and we haven’t had one in a long time because the bar really is high.”
About the drug
LCZ696 is a combination of two drugs: valsartan and sacubitril.
Valsartan, an angiotensin receptor blocker, is the blockbuster heart medicine sold by Novartis as Diovan. While the other drug is an inhibitor of an enzyme called neprilysin.
Experts say LCZ696 is likely to be expensive as it is a proprietary drug.