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Novartis AG Heart Failure Drug Cuts Death By 37%-Reuters

Tuesday, 6 Nov 2012 08:52pm EST 

Reuters reported that Novartis AG drug to treat hospitalized acute heart failure patients reduced deaths by 37% compared with a placebo and appeared to be safe, according to data from a late stage clinical trial presented on November 06, 2012. The drug, serelaxin, which is a form of a human hormone that relaxes blood vessels and eases stress on the heart and other organs, is considered one of the most important medicines in the Swiss drugmaker's developmental pipeline. Novartis said it now planned to seek approval for serelaxin. In the study of 1,161 patients, the drug cut deaths from any cause at six months by 37% and led to a marked reduction in worsening of heart failure during hospitalization, researchers said. Patients who received 48 hours of continuously infused serelaxin experienced more than 45% fewer episodes of worsening heart failure symptoms than those who got a placebo. The study showed t he Novartis drug also reduced the duration of time spent in intensive care units by almost half a day and cut the length of hospital stay by almost a full day. There was no difference in serious side effects between the two groups, but there was a significant increase in kidney impairment in the placebo group, as the Novartis drug appears to prevent worsening of kidney function, researchers said. Despite missing some of the pre-set end points, or goals, of the study, Novartis said it is likely to seek approval of the drug based on the trial results. 

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