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Cytokinetics, Amgen Heart Failure Drug Shows Promise In Clinical Study

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Cytokinetics Inc. and Amgen's experimental drug for treating heart failure showed promise during its clinical trial, based on data presented on Sunday.

More than 445 patients already being treated for chronic heart failure participated in Amgen and Cytokinetic Incorporated's Chronic Oral Study of Myosin Activation to Increase Contractility in Heart Failure (COSMIC-HF), the phase 2 clinical trial for their experimental drug and had reported several beneficial results from taking the new drug, omecamtiv mecarbil.

"The improvements observed in cardiac function with omecamtiv mecarbil in the COSMIC-HF trial are promising," said Dr. Sean Harper, executive vice president of Research and Development at Amgen, in a press release.

The participants were given 25 mg of omecamtiv mecarbil against a placebo, to be taken twice a day for at least 20 weeks. Two weeks in, the group of patients taking the trial medication had their dosage increased to 50 mg.

The patients were then assessed based on their blood pressure, heart rate, blood exams for NT-proBNP, a biomarker for heart disease, as well as their tolerance for the drug.

Researchers noted statistically significant changes in these parameters among patients who were taking the drug, which is very helpful for cardiac disease patients. A markedly decreased heart size, or cardiac remodeling, was also observed.

"The results from COSMIC-HF suggest chronic dosing of omecamtiv mecarbil may have a favorable and meaningful impact on cardiac function and remodeling," said Dr. John Teerlink, Director of Heart Failure at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He added that the statistically significant improvements shown in this clinical trial sounds very promising in terms of improving cardiac patient care outcomes.

Cytokinetics, who discovered and manufactured the drug, said that it and Amgen will study further the data gathered from this and other clinical studies before deciding whether to proceed with wider-scaled Phase 3 trials that will be needed to seek regulatory approval.

Heart failure is one of the most common diseases and causes of death worldwide, affecting more than 23 million people all over the globe. Despite the numerous options for treatment available for heart failure patients, prognosis for the disease still remains poor.

But with the discovery of this new drug, researchers hope that the medical community is closer to finding the agent that can truly improve cardiac function and heart failure patient longevity.

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