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Novartis AG (NVS)'s New Heart Drug Cuts Cardiovascular Death Risk By 20 Percent; "Most Exciting Ever" Med Points To Huge Sales

9/2/2014 5:54:54 AM

Novartis New Heart Drug Cuts Cardiovascular Death Risk By 20 Percent; Most Exciting Ever Med Points To Huge Sales

September 2, 2014

By Krystle Vermes, Breaking News Staff

In the most recent edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, Novartis AG (NVS) revealed that its investigational heart failure drug, LCZ696, was more effective in comparison to ACE-inhibitor enalapril on key endpoints in the largest heart failure study ever conducted. This news was also published by the European Society of Cardiology congress on Aug. 30.

PARADIGM-HF patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction who were given LCZ696 were more likely to survive than those who were given ACE-inhibitor enalapril. Additionally, they were less likely to be hospitalized for sudden deterioriation of their heart failure.

PARADIGM-HF is a randomized, double-blind, phase III study designed to evaluate the safety profile of LCZ696 in comparison to enalapril. About 8,442 patients took part in this study. Furthermore, enalapril or LCZ696 was administered to patients on top of their current treatment.

Researchers discovered that the drug was able to reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular causes by up to 20 percent, and minimize heart failure hospitalizations by 21 percent.

Heart failure may occur in an individual when the heart cannot pump enough blood throughout the body. An individual who lives with heart failure may start to feel fatigued and experience fluid retention. Additionally, he or she may feel breathlessness, and heart failure can be potentially fatal.
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"By demonstrating a very significant reduction in cardiovascular deaths while improving Quality of Life, Novartis' new heart failure medicine, LCZ696, represents one of the most important cardiology advances of the last decade," said David Epstein, Division Head, Novartis Pharmaceuticals. "We want to thank leading cardiologists from around the world for their collaboration with us and their determination in advancing this important new life saving therapy for heart failure patients."

LCZ696 is being investigated as a twice-a-day treatment to reduce the strain placed on a failing heart. The drug is designed to harness the body's natural defenses against heart failure. It enhances the levels of natriuretic and vasoactive peptides while inhibiting the rennin-angiotensin-aldosterone system.

Novartis, which is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, is dedicated to creating cost-effective generic pharmaceuticals, vaccines and over-the-counter health products for humans and animals alike. Novartis Group has approximately 135,000 full-time employees and a presence in more than 150 countries around the world.

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