EU approved AstraZeneca’s Forxiga for heart failure

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The FINANCIAL — AstraZeneca’s Forxiga (dapagliflozin) has been approved in the European Union (EU) for the treatment of symptomatic chronic heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) in adults with and without type-2 diabetes (T2D).

Heart failure (HF) is a life-threatening chronic disease that prevents the heart from pumping sufficient levels of blood around the body. It affects 15 million people in the EU, at least half of whom have a reduced ejection fraction,1-3 which occurs when the left ventricle muscle is not able to contract adequately and therefore expels less oxygen-rich blood into the body.4-6

The approval by the European Commission is based on positive results from the landmark DAPA-HF Phase III trial, published in The New England Journal of Medicine.7 It follows the recommendation for approval by the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use of the European Medicines Agency.

John McMurray, MD, Cardiovascular Research Centre, Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow, UK, said: “Today’s approval provides physicians with a completely novel treatment for heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, not only improving symptoms and reducing hospital admissions, but also increasing survival in this life-threatening condition.”

Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President, BioPharmaceuticals R&D, said: “With this approval of Forxiga, we can redefine the standard of care for millions of people in the EU living with heart failure. We are another step closer to achieving our ambition of preventing or treating heart failure by providing a treatment that can significantly reduce cardiovascular death and hospitalisation.”

Forxiga is the first sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitor to have shown a statistically significant reduction in the risk of the composite of cardiovascular (CV) death or worsening of HF events, including hospitalisation for HF (hHF). The DAPA-HF Phase III trial demonstrated that Forxiga, in addition to standard of care, reduced the risk of the composite outcome versus placebo by 26% and both components of the primary composite endpoint contributed benefit to the overall effect. In the DAPA-HF Phase III trial, the safety profile of Forxiga was consistent with the well-established safety profile of the medicine. During the trial, one CV death or hHF or an urgent visit associated with HF could be avoided for every 21 patients treated.

Forxiga (known as Farxiga in the US) is approved in the US for the treatment of patients with HFrEF and is currently under review in Japan and in several over countries around the world.

Forxiga is advancing cardiorenal prevention as science continues to identify the underlying links between the heart, kidneys and pancreas. DAPA-HF is part of DapaCare, a robust clinical trial programme to assess the potential CV and renal benefits of Forxiga. The programme has also explored the treatment of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the ground-breaking DAPA-CKD Phase III trial. Additionally, Forxiga is currently being tested for HF patients with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) in the DELIVER Phase III trial with data anticipated in the second half of 2021.

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