Novartis' most promising heart drug

Novartis experimental drug LCZ696 has shown remarkably positive signs for the treatment of chronic heart failure (CHF)


The drug has been granted fast-track status by the US regulator

The drug, LCZ696, could decrease by 20 percent, the effects of cardiovascular disorders and risk of hospitalisation due to chronic heart failure (CHF).

This drug was tested on more than 8,400 patients in 47 countries. They received either LCZ696 or enalapril. Reduction in risk for cardiovascular death and hospitalisation was about 20 percent. About 32 patients were treated with LCZ696 to prevent death from cardiovascular disorder. The drug was tolerated and did not pose any risk.

Taking LCZ696, twice-a-day, reduced the risk of mortality by 16 percent and showed no unmanageable side effects. Dr Milton Packer, a professor of clinical sciences at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, said, "The results are extraordinarily powerful and compelling; they are destined to change management of patients with CHF for years to come."

"To say we are excited is an understatement. We are absolutely thrilled. Given the survival advantage of LCZ696 over available drugs it would be difficult to understand why physicians would continue to use traditional ACE inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers for the treatment of heart failure," he added.

LCZ696 has already been granted fast-track status by the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) and the company will apply to the European submission (EU) early next year. The research is published in the New England Journal of Medicine and was also presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Barcelona, Spain.



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