Fewer but better heart drugs on the way?

15th September 2016

Heart drugs account for a smaller proportion of medications being developed than 25 years ago, but they are more inventive and likely to have the most health benefits for patients.

That is the view of researchers in an article published online in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Basic to Translational Science.

The drugs in the pipeline are more likely to be cell-based therapies, trying to modify heart cells, and to be developed by small or medium-sized companies rather than by large pharmaceutical companies, said the team.

Researcher Thomas Hwang, from Harvard University, said given the increasing amount of heart disease around the world, a declining number of new therapies was concerning.

But fellow researcher Dr Aaron Kesselheim said a greater percentage of the heart drugs in development were innovative and the most likely to have the most important clinical impact. Having fewer, more targeted drugs was not a bad thing.

Dr Hwang said: “Policymakers should focus their efforts on supporting research aimed at improving gaps in the understanding of the pathophysiological bases for cardiovascular disorders, as well as facilitating translational efforts to develop new cardiovascular therapeutics.”

For more details, see here