Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Valsartan. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Valsartan. Sort by date Show all posts

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

FDA Finds Another Carcinogen in Certain Valsartan Heart Meds

In continuation of my updates on Valsartan

Valsartan skeletal.svg

There's more bad news for Americans who took certain brands of the common blood pressure medication valsartan.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday warned that it has found a second impurity in three lots of Torrent Pharmaceuticals' valsartan drug products, which are used to treat both high blood pressure and heart failure.
The FDA first recalled valsartan medicines back in July, after the Chinese company that makes the drugs, Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals, found a contaminant called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in several batches of its active ingredient, valsartan API.
NDMA is a suspected carcinogen. However, there was some reassurance earlier this week for people who had used the recalled Chinese-made product. A study involving more than 5,000 patients followed for nearly five years found those who took the recalled valsartan were not more likely to develop cancer in the short term. Long-term cancer risk remains unclear, however.
Now, in a news release issued Thursday, the FDA said Torrent's valsartan 160 milligram (mg) (lot BV47D001) and 320mg (lots BV48D001 and BV48D002) tablets are also tainted with N-Nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA). NDEA is also classified as a possible cancer-causing agent by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Contamination by both NDMA and NDEA could result from a specific sequence of manufacturing steps and chemical reactions, the FDA explained. After NDMA was detected, the agency immediately began retesting all valsartan products, including the already recalled drugs and others sold in the United States, the agency explained.
The FDA's testing shows that not all products made using Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals' valsartan API contain the potentially dangerous impurities.
"As we continue to investigate the root cause of the impurities found in products that contain valsartan, our scientists are testing these products to better understand these impurities and to ensure they're not present in other products," FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in the news release.
He said the FDA is also taking steps to prevent similar contaminations in the future, and providing the public with up-to-date information.
"We'll also continue to work with global regulatory agencies to learn as much as we can about how these impurities came about and how they may affect patients' health around the globe," Gottlieb added.
The agency has created a running list of affected products, and urges all patients taking a valsartan drug to check the list periodically to see if their medication is affected.
If you find that you are taking a drug that's included in the recall, talk to your doctor immediately, the FDA said. People using a recalled valsartan drug should not discontinue treatment until their doctor prescribes them an alternative medication, the agency said.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Allergan Announces FDA Approval of Byvalson (nebivolol and valsartan) for Hypertension

In continuation of my update on nebivolol and valsartan
Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN), a leading global pharmaceutical company,  announced the approval of Byvalson (nebivolol and valsartan) 5 mg/ 80 mg tablets, by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of hypertension to lower blood pressure. Byvalson is the first and only fixed-dose combination (FDC) of a beta blocker (BB) and angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) available in the U.S.
Nebivolol.svg nebivolol  Valsartan skeletal.svgValsartan

"Achieving blood pressure control is critical to reducing the risk of serious and life-threatening cardiovascular events. There remains a need for new therapies, as observed by the nearly half of patients in the U.S. who remain uncontrolled," said David Nicholson, Chief R&D Officer at Allergan. "We are pleased with the FDA approval of Byvalson, which will provide physicians a new fixed dose combination therapy treatment option for patients affected by hypertension."
Hypertension represents a significant public health problem with high prevalence in the U.S. Hypertension often has no warning signs or symptoms and has been associated with serious cardiovascular (CV) risks, such as stroke, heart failure, and myocardial infarction. Lowering blood pressure reduces the risk of fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular events, primarily strokes and myocardial infarctions. These benefits have been seen in controlled trials of antihypertensive drugs from a wide variety of pharmacologic classes, including the beta-blocker class to which nebivolol principally belongs and the ARB class to which valsartan principally belongs. There are no controlled trials demonstrating risk reduction with Byvalson.
"The majority of patients with hypertension require two or more medications to achieve their blood pressure goals," said William B White, MD Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Hypertension and Clinical Pharmacology, Calhoun Cardiology Center at UConn Health in Farmington and immediate past president of the American Society of Hypertension. "Nebivolol and valsartan are used widely in the management of hypertension and are effective drugs. The new fixed-dose combination Byvalson, that includes these 2 therapies, offers reduction of blood pressure through multiple mechanisms of action."
The FDA approval of Byvalson was based on a Phase 3, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-escalating, 8-week efficacy and safety study, published in The Lancet, which randomized approximately 4,100 patients with Stage 1 or 2 hypertension. In this pivotal efficacy and safety study, treatment with the FDC of nebivolol and valsartan for 4 weeks demonstrated statistically significant reductions from baseline in diastolic and systolic blood pressure versus either nebivolol alone or valsartan alone. The overall rate of adverse events was similar across treatment groups and placebo during this 4 week period.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Fixed-dose combination of sacubitril and valsartan for heart failure shows differing added benefit

In continuation of my update on Valsartan and Sacubitril

Valsartan skeletal.svg           Valsartan Sacubitril skeletal.svg Sacubitril 

The fixed-dose combination of sacubitril and valsartan (trade name: Entresto) has been approved since November 2015 for adults with symptomatic chronic heart failure with reduced pump function. In its early benefit assessment, the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) derived an indication of considerable added benefit versus the appropriate comparator therapy enalapril from the data: The positive effects regarding mortality, hospitalizations and quality of life largely outweighed the negative effect in non-severe side effects.

In the following commenting procedure, the drug manufacturer subsequently submitted sensitivity analyses and data, and a possible effect modification by the subgroup characteristic diabetes mellitus was pointed out. IQWiG investigated this in an addendum and concluded that there is an indication of a minor added benefit for diabetes patients. For patients without diabetes, in contrast, an indication of considerable added benefit of the drug combination remains.

Sensitivity analyses did not change assessment of the added benefit

The PARADIGM-HF study, on which the dossier was based, contained a so-called run-in phase to ensure that the participants tolerated the target dose of the study medication. About 20 per cent of the participants dropped out of the study in this phase. As noted by IQWiG in its dossier assessment, the rate of adverse events may be underestimated as a result, and more so under the drug combination than in the comparator arm.

To account for this, the manufacturer now presented sensitivity analyses. However, these analyses neither considered the outcomes of interest nor were methodologically adequate to remedy this deficiency. They did therefore not change the assessments from the dossier assessment.

Quality of life: indication of added benefit confirmed

Regarding health-related quality of life and health status, the manufacturer subsequently submitted analyses that increase the certainty of conclusions in comparison with the dossier assessment. For quality of life, there is now an indication of an added benefit both for clinically relevant improvement and for clinically relevant worsening. For health status, there is still no advantage of sacubitril/valsartan. Hence there is still no hint of an added benefit for this outcome.

Diagnosis of diabetes as relevant subgroup characteristic

There was proof of an effect modification in the outcome "mortality": Whereas there was an indication of an added benefit of sacubitril/valsartan in comparison with enalapril for patients without diabetes mellitus, there was no hint of an added benefit for patients with diabetes.
Overall, there were therefore still both positive effects and a negative effect. Due to the effect modification by the characteristic "diabetes", an indication of minor added benefit remains for patients with this disease, whereas there is still an indication of considerable added benefit for patients without diabetes.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Entresto drug shows added benefit in symptomatic chronic heart failure

In continuation of my update on sacubitril and Valsartan   

The fixed-dose combination of sacubitril and valsartan (trade name: Entresto) has been approved since November 2015 for adults with symptomatic chronic heart failure with reduced pump function (ejection fraction). The German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) now examined in an early benefit assessment whether this drug combination offers an added benefit for patients in comparison with the appropriate comparator therapy.

According to the findings, the positive effects regarding mortality, necessity of heart failure hospitalizations, and quality of life predominate. These were not put into question by a negative effect in non-severe side effects; hence overall an indication of considerable added benefit can be derived from the data.
Approval study terminated prematurely
In its dossier, the drug manufacturer used data from a randomized controlled trial, which compared sacubitril/valsartan directly with enalapril, each in combination with a beta-blocker. Since a planned interim analysis was able to show after 51 months already that fewer cardiovascular deaths occurred under sacubitril/valsartan, the study was terminated prematurely.
Fewer deaths due to cardiovascular failure
The data from the dossier showed that all-cause mortality was lower under sacubitril/valsartan than under enalapril, which was mainly caused by fewer cardiovascular deaths.
The results regarding the frequency of hospitalizations due to heart failure were also in favour of the new fixed-dose combination; however, these were limited to patients with a lower severity grade (NYHA class I and II). Finally, the data on health-related quality of life also showed an advantage of sacubitril/valsartan.


Entresto drug shows added benefit in symptomatic chronic heart failure: The fixed-dose combination of sacubitril and valsartan (trade name: Entresto) has been approved since November 2015 for adults with symptomatic chronic heart failure with reduced pump function (ejection fraction). The German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) now examined in an early benefit assessment whether this drug combination offers an added benefit for patients in comparison with the appropriate comparator therapy.

Friday, February 5, 2016

New heart failure drug may increase patients' risk of Alzheimer's disease, macular degeneration

In continuation of my update on sacubitril and Valsartan

Patients with mild heart failure stand to benefit from a new drug that can halt the progression of their disease and reduce their risk of cardiovascular-related death. But the drug -- a tablet that combines the agents valsartan and sacubitril, sold under the trade name Entresto by drugmaker Novartis -- may be too good to be true, according to Arthur M. Feldman, MD, PhD, Executive Dean of the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University (LKSOM), Chief Academic Officer of the Temple University Health System, and Laura H. Carnell Professor of Medicine at LKSOM.

In an article published online December 7th in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Feldman and colleagues at Thomas Jefferson University and the University of Florida warn that valsartan/sacubitril could theoretically increase patients' risk of Alzheimer's disease and macular degeneration, a blinding condition affecting the retina of the eye. The article raises these concerns about the drug, which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in July 2015.

"Basic science data has caused us to speculate that off-target effects of valsartan/sacubitril may cause an exacerbation of Alzheimer's disease and could also exacerbate the course of macular degeneration," Dr. Feldman explained.

Dr. Feldman went on to note that "doctors are prescribing these drugs without knowledge of these theoretical risks."

Valsartan/sacubitril works by inhibiting an enzyme known as neprilysin, which normally plays a critical role in breaking down a wide array of peptides in cells. Among those substances are the so-called natriuretic peptides, which function in regulating scarring and cell growth in the heart when neprilysin is blocked. Because of those activities, valsartan/sacubitril can delay the progression of heart failure in some patients.

Neprilysin, however, also normally degrades amyloid beta, a peptide that can accumulate in the brain, where it contributes to Alzheimer's disease, as well as in the eye, where it is implicated in macular degeneration. The balance between the production and clearance of amyloid beta is crucial to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease and is suspected to influence the development of macular degeneration. In animal models, blocking neprilysin disturbs that balance and exacerbates the development of Alzheimer's pathology.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Entresto drug can be initiated early and safely in heart failure patients with reduced ejection fraction

In continuation of my update on sacubitril/valsartan

Data from the TRANSITION study presented today at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress in Munich, Germany has shown that Entresto® (sacubitril/valsartan) can be initiated early and safely in a wide range of heart failure patients with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) who have been stabilized after hospitalization due to an acute heart failure episode. Patients involved in the study included those with no prior experience of Entresto or conventional HF therapies, as well as those with prior experience of conventional HF therapies.
About half of all heart failure patients have reduced ejection fraction, and optimizing treatment for these patients according to guidelines is critical to reduce the likelihood of another acute episode or dying. However, there is often hesitancy to initiate a new treatment after a hospitalization as these patients are considered 'vulnerable' and unable to tolerate changes in their medication.
"In the weeks following an episode of acute heart failure, patients are very vulnerable and face a high risk of re-hospitalization and death," said Prof. Rolf Wachter, University Hospital Leipzig, Germany and study investigator. "The PARADIGM-HF study showed that sacubitril/valsartan reduces heart failure-related hospitalizations, re-hospitalization and death. TRANSITION shows that sacubitril/valsartan can be initiated early and safely in patients shortly after an acute heart failure episode, providing physicians with added confidence to optimize their care with innovative medicines in heart failure treatment."
In TRANSITION, the safety and tolerability of Entresto were assessed in HFrEF patients after they have been stabilized following an acute heart failure episode. Patients were randomized to initiate Entresto therapy either in the hospital (pre-discharge) or shortly after leaving the hospital (post-discharge). At 10 weeks, more than 86% of patients were receiving Entresto for 2 weeks or longer without interruption and about half of patients in the study achieved the primary endpoint which was a target dose of 200 mg of Entresto twice daily within 10 weeks in both groups. The number of patients who met the primary and secondary endpoints was similar across both treatment arms. The incidence of adverse events and discontinuations of Entresto due to adverse events was also similar in both the in-hospital and the out-patient setting.
"We are encouraged by the findings of TRANSITION which show that Entresto, the new standard of care in heart failure, can be safely initiated in recently hospitalized patients," said Shreeram Aradhye, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Global Head, Medical Affairs, Novartis Pharmaceuticals. "Heart failure is a serious progressive disease with 83% of patients hospitalized at least once for an acute heart failure episode during the course of their condition. Hospitalization provides an opportunity for physicians to optimize heart failure treatment according to guidelines to reduce the likelihood of hospital readmission and death, reduce the burden of hospitalizations, and improve patient outcomes."

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Valturna gets FDA approval .....

FDA, has approved Valturna (valsartan & aliskiren respective structures above) tablets, the first and only medicine to target two key points within the renin system, also known as the renin angiotensin aldosteronesystem (RAAS), an important regulator of blood pressure. This is the first approval for Valturna, which is indicated for the treatment of Hypertension (high blood pressure) in patients not adequately controlled on aliskiren or angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) monotherapy and as initial therapy in patients likely to need multiple drugs to achieve their blood pressure goals. This unique combination brings together the powerful blood pressure lowering effects of valsartan and aliskiren. Valturna combines in a single pill valsartan, the active ingredient in Diovan((R)), the number one selling branded Hypertension medicine worldwide, and aliskiren, the active ingredient in Tekturna((R)), the only approved direct renin inhibitor (DRI). Valturna offers significantly greater blood pressure reduction than either valsartan or aliskiren alone. Now for the first time, patients have a treatment option in one pill that targets two key points of the RAAS, which may be overactive in many hypertensive patients. The important fact about the combination is - by targeting two key points within the RAAS, Valturna helps blood vessels relax and widen so blood pressure is lowered. Research suggests that up to 85% of hypertensive patients may need multiple medications to help control their blood pressure, underscoring the need for effective combination treatments, hope this combined drugs will help the patients to a large extent. But those people with stroke, heart attack, heart failure, kidney failure or eye problems resulting from hypertension will have to wait for some more time....

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Monday, March 2, 2015

Actavis receives complete response letter for nebivolol/valsartan FDC for treatment of hypertension

In continuation of my  update on Valsartan

Actavis plc , confirmed that the Company has received a complete response letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its New Drug Application (NDA) for the fixed-dose combination (FDC) of nebivolol (below structure)  and valsartan for the treatment of hypertension.


"Although we are disappointed in the receipt of a complete response letter, Actavis remains committed to bringing treatments to market that address the significant public health issue of cardiovascular disease," said David Nicholson, Senior Vice President, Actavis Global Brands R&D. "Bystolic is a safe and effective option that is commonly used in combination with other antihypertensive medications to help patients reach blood pressure treatment goals. We will review the complete response and determine the appropriate next steps."

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Drug Gives 'New Hope' Against Heart Failure, Expert Says

In a head-to-head comparison, an experimental drug was more effective than standard treatment at preventing deaths and hospitalizations in heart failure patients.
According to the study authors, the trial was stopped early because of the marked benefit of the new drug, dubbed LCZ696. [LCZ696 is an investigational combination drug consisting of two antihypertensives (blood pressure lowering drugs), valsartan (left below) and AHU-377 (right below), in a 1:1 mixture. It is being developed by Novartis. The combination is often described as a dual-acting angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitor (ARNi)]
In the trial, 26.5 percent of those getting the standard medication, enalapril (Vasotec), either died or were hospitalized due to heart failure, compared with 21.8 percent of those on the new drug. Enalapril belongs to a class of blood pressure-lowering medications known as ACE inhibitors.
"LCZ696 could become the new gold standard, replacing ACE inhibitors," said lead researcher Dr. John McMurray, a professor of cardiology at the British Heart Foundation Cardiovascular Research Center at the University of Glasgow, in Scotland.
LCZ696 combines two blood pressure drugs -- an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) and the neprilysin inhibitor known as sacubitril.
"We found that LCZ696 was superior to the gold-standard ACE inhibitor for heart failure -- an ACE inhibitor being the absolute cornerstone of treatment for this problem," he said.
Not only did LCZ696 beat enalapril, but it did that even when added to other treatments, McMurray noted.
"The new treatment was very well tolerated, with no significant safety concerns," he added.