'Blockbuster' drug for heart failure on the way
China Daily: US Edition
An experimental drug from Swiss pharmaceutical giant
The new drug, called LCZ696, has been labeled a potential "blockbuster", with potential sales in the billions of dollars, analysts said.
Cardiovascular failure, in which the heart does not pump blood effectively, kills at least 26 million people a year worldwide.
The study - conducted with more than 8,400 patients in 47 countries over 27 months - compared the safety and effectiveness of the drug on patients with heart failure to the current gold standard, Enalapril.
At the end of the observation period, 21.8 percent of participants taking LCZ696 died from heart failure, a fifth lower than the 26.5 percent who died taking Enalapril.
It said in a statement that the results were "highly significant and clinically important".
The drug also reduced hospitalizations by 21 percent, the study showed.
"I think that when physicians see these data, they will find it compelling, and what we will see is a paradigm shift," said
Despite existing treatments, the mortality rate from heart failure remains high, with around 50 percent of patients dying within five years of diagnosis,
The condition leads to shortness of breath, fatigue, and fluid retention in the arms and legs.
But the new drug is likely to be expensive, analyst
Anderson said the drug may cost as much as
(China Daily USA 09/02/2014 page7)