Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG has received US regulatory approval to sell a first-of-its-kind drug to treat heart failure, a leading cause of death among adults, Bloomberg News reported.
The Food and Drug Administration has cleared the medicine, called Entresto, which has been shown to reduce deaths and hospitalization due to heart failure, the news agency said, citing an FDA statement.
The treatment combines the Novartis drug Diovan, which treats high blood pressure, with another drug called Sacubitril.
It’s the first in its class that reduces the strain on the heart, the report said, citing a statement from the company.
Novartis said it expects Entresto to reach peak sales of at least US$5 billion a year.
About 5.1 million Americans suffer from heart failure, which usually worsens over time as the heart grows weaker, according to the FDA.
Heart failure is often caused by cardiovascular damage from heart attacks and high blood pressure, the agency said.
The twice-daily tablet was approved for heart failure patients who have what is called a reduced ejection fraction, meaning the heart muscle isn’t contracting effectively and can’t pump enough blood to the body, according to Novartis.
About half of US heart failure patients have reduced ejection fraction, the company said.
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