A new blood pressure drug called Tekturna made by Novartis has been found to benefit heart failure patients also.
Tekturna was recently granted approval in both the U.S. and Europe. Tekturna, known generically as aliskiren, is sold under the name Rasilez in Europe.
Tekturna is the first of a new type of drug known as a renin inhibitor that experts hope will give extra benefits compared with older medicines.
John McMurray of the University of Glasgow, Scotland, says a study of 300 heart patients revealed that Tekturna was found to significantly cut levels of B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP), a biomarker associated with worsening outcomes for patients with heart problems.
The study found that Tekturna proved to be effective when given to patients even though they were already taking other types of heart medication and it was found that there was no significant excess of either hypotension (excessively low blood pressure) or kidney dysfunction.
Dr. McMurray says it is hoped that a reduction of BNP will translate into a reduction of morbidity and mortality, but that needs to be proved in a large randomised trial, which is the next step.
Heart failure effects millions of people world wide and occurs when the heart is not strong enough to maintain full circulation throughout the entire body; it is a major focus of medical research.
The results were presented at the annual meeting of the European Society of Cardiology.