New drug for chronic heart failure shows significant results

26th November 2015

A new drug being investigated for treating chronic heart failure has shown some significant results in trials, the American Heart Association’s scientific sessions were told last week.

Researchers say the drug, omecamtiv mecarbil, boosts the heart’s function by prolonging the systolic ejection time (when blood is pumped out of the heart).

The drug is a cardiac myosin activator that directly targets a force-generating cardiac enzyme, accelerating its activity to improve the heart’s ability to contract.

In a presentation to the scientific sessions last week, Dr John Teerlink from the University of California said there were significant improvements in cardiac function in the study of more than 448 patients.

He said the patients had a left ventricular ejection fraction of less than 40 per cent (a mean of 29 per cent) and were on current optimal medical therapy – including beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors or ARBs.  More than eight in ten were on diuretics.