Heart failure patients have something to rejoice, this week, as researchers report that some patients show significant benefits when the diabetes drug dapagliflozin is added to their treatment regimens. It should noted that the drug—under the brand label Farxiga—benefits heart failure patients who also have reduced ejection fraction but do not have diabetes.
In recent data analysis, the composite primary endpoint of cardiovascular death, hospitalization from heart failure, and urgent heart failure visits all declined by 27 percent over a period of 18.2 months among those patients not diagnosed with diabetes but had been [randomly] prescribed dapagliflozin 10 mg (once daily), compared against those prescribed a placebo.
The study involved 4,744 patients with heart failure, specifically characterized by reduced ejection fraction. Patient data was collected from 20 countries and all patients were at least 67 years of age; 75 percent of which were male. It might also be relevant that the vast majority of diagnoses came under New York Heart Association heart failure class II or III.
Among the study cohort, 2,139 patients were also diagnosed with diabetes. These patients were found to be more likely to suffer heart failure etiology of ischemia when compared against those without diabetes.
While this is quite a substantial discovery, researchers are still unsure as to why it is so. Exactly why this drug works so well among heart failure patients who do not have diabetes, indeed, remains a bit of a mystery. However, researchers believe that the benefit might be related to its effect on kidney function, particularly since it seems to affect neurohormonal antagonism.
AstraZeneca Vice President of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases in the US, Kiersten Combs, notes, “While the overall results have been truly groundbreaking, the subanalyses we’re presenting here are really paradigm shifting science. The consistency of the results across the subpopulation really speaks to the quality of this data and what it’s going to mean to heart failure going forward.”
Combs goes on to say, “We have been on the market now for the last three weeks promoting the indication with the Declare study in Type 2 diabetics. We are really stressing what we believe is quite important in shifting the paradigm in how diabetes is treated.”