AstraZeneca reveals spectacular data at the European Society of Cardiology for its heart failure drug Farxiga


AZ had previously revealed that the DAPA-HF trial was a win for their Farxiga treatment, but now we have figures to understand their glee.

Lead Investigator, John McMurray of the University of Glasgow, presented the data in Paris last weekend. He said that Farxiga reduced the composite of cardiovascular (CV) death or worsening of heart failure by 26%, with these benefits seen in patients both diabetic and non-diabetic, when added to standard therapy.

At this conference, cardiologists were able to see the scale of improvement with the SGLT2 inhibitor, which had positive impacts across all 14 prespecified subgroups in the trial. Farxiga also reduced the risk for all-cause death by 17%.

Farxiga is the first drug in its class to complete a cardiovascular outcomes trial in HRrEF and could open up a new treatment category for these patients and open up a new revenue stream for AZ as it tries to catch up to current market leader Jardiance from Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim.
In reference to the DAPA-HF trial, Marco Metra of the University of Brescia in Italy described the trial as a ‘landmark trial’ that could usher in “a new era in heart failure medical treatment”
Farxiga has already grown big for AZ based on the data showing that it reduces CV and kidney complications in diabetics, but this DAPA-HF trial could extend its use into the non-diabetic population and make in an option for the millions of patients worldwide with heart failure.

HRrEF is a category of heart failure and accounts for around half of all cases, Farxiga is also hoping to get approval for HRpEF (Heart Failure with preserved ejection failure), a hard to treat form of the disease that currently has no approved drug therapies. Farxiga is currently being studied in relation to HRpEF in two trials.

Eli Lilly and Boehringer are not waiting to be left behind as they have recently won a fast track review from the FDA for Jardiance in both HFrEF and HFpEF based on the results from two trials.
AZ can expect sales to go up a gear if data is cleared by regulators. Farxiga brought in sales of $1.4bn for AZ last year, just over half of the $2.7bn for Jardiance and it grew by another 14% to $726m in the first half of 2019.

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