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Novartis receives Swiss approval for heart failure medicine Entresto
Pharma News

Saturday, September 19, 2015, 09:00 Hrs  [IST]

The Swissmedic has approved Novartis’ Entresto (sacubitril/valsartan), previously known as LCZ696, to reduce the risk of cardiovascular mortality and morbidity in patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). Entresto will be available on prescription for adult patients whose condition is classified NYHA class II-IV and with an ejection fraction of 40% or less. It is administered in combination with other heart failure therapies as appropriate, in place of an ACE inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker.

“This is another significant milestone and good news for HFrEF patients in Switzerland who will shortly be able to benefit from Entresto, helping them live longer and stay out of hospital”, said David Epstein, Division Head, Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

As a key stage of Entresto manufacture happens in Switzerland and it is an important reference country for Novartis, the Swissmedic approval is particularly important as it enables multiple Health Authorities around the world to complete their review of Entresto. Swissmedic’s decision is based on results from the 8,442-patient PARADIGM-HF study in patients with HFrEF, which was stopped early when it was shown Entresto significantly reduced the risk of cardiovascular death versus ACE-inhibitor enalapril. At the end of the study patients who were given Entresto were more likely to be alive and less likely to have been hospitalized for heart failure than those given enalapril. Analysis of safety data showed that Entresto had a similar tolerability profile to enalapril.

Approximately 150,000 people in Switzerland live with heart failure and about half have the reduced ejection fraction form. Heart failure is a debilitating, life-threatening condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood around the body. Patients face a high risk of death, repeated hospitalizations and symptoms such as breathlessness, fatigue and fluid retention significantly impacting their quality of life.

Entresto is a first in class medicine (an ARNI, Angiotensin Receptor Neprilysin Inhibitor) that reduces the strain on the failing heart. A twice-a-day tablet, it acts to enhance the protective neurohormonal systems of the heart (NP system) while simultaneously suppressing the harmful system (the RAAS).

Results from the 8,442 patient PARADIGM-HF study showed, versus enalapril, Entresto:- reduced the risk of death from cardiovascular causes by 20%; reduced heart failure hospitalizations by 21%;  reduced the risk of all-cause mortality by 16%; Overall there was a 20% risk reduction on the primary endpoint, a composite measure of CV death or time to first heart failure hospitalization.

Fewer patients on Entresto discontinued study medication for any adverse event compared to those on enalapril. The Entresto group had more hypotension and non-serious angioedema but less renal impairment, hyperkalemia and cough than the enalapril group.

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