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Survey: Serelaxin Has Potential to Fulfill Unmet Needs in Acute Heart Failure

Cardiologists see chance to reduce hospital readmissions and mortality (July 29)

Decision Resources, a research and advisory firm located in Burlington, Mass., finds that, based on clinical trial data and thought leaders’ opinions, the novel vasodilative drug serelaxin (recombinant human relaxin 2, Novartis) has the potential to gain acceptance among cardiologists for the treatment of acute heart failure, given that it is predicted to reduce mortality and to prevent worsening renal function.

While cardiologists are most compelled by drugs that reduce patient mortality, the high price of novel treatments for acute heart failure could offset cardiologists’ receptivity to such agents. Payers also indicate they would accommodate such high-priced premiums only in the presence of substantial improvements in efficacy. Ularitide (synthetic urodilatin, Cardiorentis) is similarly predicted to reduce mortality and to offer other improvements in efficacy and safety compared with current therapies.

The report also finds that U.S. cardiologists regard reductions in hospital readmissions for acute heart failure as a pressing unmet need equal to reducing patient mortality. However, none of the current or emerging therapies is expected to address the issue of patient rehospitalization. Although serelaxin was associated with a non-significant increase in rehospitalizations in clinical trials, this agent still received the highest preference share when compared with ularitide and nesiritide (Natrecor, Scios/Johnson & Johnson).

The findings also show that all of the emerging acute heart failure therapies are set to surpass many of the current therapies in terms of both efficacy and safety. In particular, surveyed cardiologists expressed interest in the novel vasodilative therapies, which are also expected to provide improvements in dyspnea over the current patient-share leader, furosemide (Lasix, Sanofi; generics).

“In the last 20 years, many of the therapies in development for acute heart failure resulted in disappointment,” said analyst Joseph Dwyer, MRes, PhD. “The high attrition rate for drugs in the acute heart failure pipeline is largely accounted for by improper trial design stemming from poor understanding of the disease and from the lack of identification of an ideal therapeutic window. The biologic vasodilator serelaxin is set to address some of the previous failures of acute heart failure therapies, and this new agent has the potential to fulfill the largest unmet needs in this patient population, and could emerge as a truly breakthrough therapy.”

Source: Decision Resources; July 29, 2013.

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