Novartis Ready to Rejuvenate Heart Failure Drug, Entresto


After the Swiss drugmaker Novartis faced a low key period of sales for its breakthrough heart failure drug, Entresto, since its US FDA approval last year in July, 2015, the company is ready to promote Entresto once again to spike up its sales graph. Entresto was also approved by European Commission (EC) in November 2015.

The company will launch a set of new trials for Entresto which will include more than 40 trials in 50 countries for over five years. These are explained as “the largest global clinical program” by the company. The program is called “Fortifying Heart Failure Clinical Evidence and Patient Quality of Life (FortiHFy)“. Novartis is now expecting a $200 million sale of Entresto in 2016.

These trials will increase our understanding of heart failure, the patient population who may benefit from Entresto, and could potentially support applications to regulatory authorities,” said Vas Narasimhan, Novartis’ chief medical officer.

Last Friday, new global medical guidelines were issued in favor of Entresto which strongly endorsed it for heart failure patients with some expected precautionary warnings like Entresto should not be given to the patients who have a history of angioedema, Entresto should not be administered together with an angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor. For almost 25 years, ACE inhibitors have been given to the patients as the gold standard treatment for chronic heart failure.

Entresto secured the highest “class 1” recommendation by US and European heart experts for the treatment of patients with heart failure or for the condition of improper pumping of blood by the heart around the body.

Entresto (valsartan/sacubitril) is the first-in-class angiotensin receptor neprilysin inhibitor (ARNI) administered to the patients suffering from symptomatic chronic heart failure and reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). 

Entresto (sacubitril/valsartan)

The drug was a major advancement for the treatment of heart failure as it is the first therapy which showed some significant reduction in the rate of cardiovascular death and hospitalization related to heart failure compared to the ACE inhibitor.

One major competitor of Novartis Entresto is Amgens heart failure drug, Corlanor which also got “class IIa” recommendation by the experts for use on top of beta blockers for those heart failure patients who have a resting heart rate of at least 70 beats per minute.

Novartis expects the peak sales of about $5 billion annually for Entresto. After the struggling performance of Entersto since its approval, there seems a bright chance for Entresto to showcase its true potential to stand out in the heart failure treatment market and to fulfill the company’s sales expectation.

Featured image credit: Colorful Heart Shaped Candies© tab62 (Stock Photo ID: 112555988)

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