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A New Drug for Acute Heart Failure

By jeremyc | December 25, 2012

A recent analysis of data collected through the RELAX-AHF trial has shown that seralaxin, a new blood vessel relaxer, may reduce mortality associated with acute heart failure by speeding up decongestion and reducing organ damage. The trial’s safety results showed that the risk of cardiovascular death and all-cause mortality had reduced by 37 percent in six months with less than 30 people needed to treat.

The same effect was seen in phase II and III studies with the same drug, to the point where the measure of the effect was also identical. These findings were reported by researchers from the University of Brescia, Italy, led by Marco Metra, MD, and published online in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

It was found during the analysis that treatment with seralaxin is associated with reduced liver, renal, and cardiac damage and reduced congestion by the second day of admission for heart failure. These associations correlated to a six-month mortality that provided a possible mechanism for improved rate of survival for the patients.

Seralaxin is a recombinant of relaxin, a pregnancy hormone that regulates maternal adaptions for improving cardiac output, and arterial and renal blood flow. The drug was not much of a success in treating acute heart failure and generated mixed feelings of skepticism and excitement when it was its primary results were presented at the American Heart Association.

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