Amgen, GSK Heart Failure Drug Candidates Differ in Study Results
Two major heart failure drug candidates saw markedly different results in recent clinical trials announced last week, a mixed bag for drugmakers looking to offer care to millions with poor prognoses on existing treatments.
A Phase 2 trial of Amgen and Cytokinetics’ omecamtiv mecarbil found the treatment strengthened cardiac function – outcomes such as systolic ejection time, stroke volume and a specific type of peptide – in patients with chronic heart failure. By activating the cardiac myosin protein, the medication stimulates the muscle’s ability to contract. Its effects were dose-dependent, Amgen says.
Meanwhile, GlaxoSmithKline was held back by results of its Phase 3 trial, leaving the British pharmaceutical giant to reevaluate investigational losmapimod, which did not meet primary endpoints. The drug was combined with standard of care for patients with acute coronary syndrome.
But losmapimod, a p38 kinase inhibitor, did show promise in a critically ill subgroup of patients with STEMI — something that the company will consider. Although not statistically significant, the company reported reductions of between 30 and 50 percent in the endpoints of cardiovascular death, hospitalization for heart failure, and the composite of the two.