Amgen Inc and Cytokinetics Inc said on Tuesday their experimental drug for chronic heart failure, omecamtiv mecarbil, showed significant improvement in cardiac function in the second part of a mid-stage study.
Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) and Cytokinetics Incorporated (NASDAQ: CYTK) today announced that data from the expansion phase of COSMIC-HF (ChronicOral Study of Myosin Activation to Increase Contractility in Heart Failure), a Phase 2 trial evaluating omecamtiv mecarbil in patients with chronic heart failure, showed statistically significant improvements in several measures of cardiac function, including systolic ejection time, stroke volume and N-terminal-pro-brain natriuretic peptide, at 20 weeks following randomization. The pharmacodynamic effects of omecamtiv mecarbil were generally dose dependent. Omecamtiv mecarbil, a novel investigational cardiac myosin activator, enhances cardiac function by increasing cardiac contractility and is being developed for the potential treatment of heart failure.1,2
The expansion phase of COSMIC-HF was designed to evaluate the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, safety and tolerability of oral omecamtiv mecarbil in 448 patients with chronic heart failure and left ventricular systolic dysfunction. Data from the expansion phase showed that pharmacokinetic-based dose titration adequately controlled patient exposure toomecamtiv mecarbil and resulted in statistically significant decreases in cardiac dimensions and heart rate in the dose-titration group.
Adverse events, including serious adverse events, in patients on omecamtiv mecarbil appeared comparable to those on placebo. A small increase in troponin was seen among subjects receiving omecamtiv mecarbil. Events of increased troponin were independently adjudicated and none were determined to be myocardial ischemia or infarction. There was no imbalance in deaths, and cardiac adverse events were generally balanced between placebo and active treatment groups.
The full trial results will be submitted to a future medical conference and for publication.
“The positive results from the COSMIC-HF trial of omecamtiv mecarbil are encouraging,” said Sean E. Harper, M.D., executive vice president of Research and Development at Amgen. “We are committed to working with Cytokinetics to better understand the data and its potential role in the treatment of heart failure patients.”
“We are pleased that this Phase 2 trial of omecamtiv mecarbil met the objectives related to safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in a population of chronic heart failure patients,” said Robert I. Blum, president and CEO at Cytokinetics. “Omecamtiv mecarbil has the potential to offer a new treatment option for patients with heart failure; we look forward to working with Amgen and the medical community to better understand the potential clinical application of this novel drug candidate.”
Heart failure is a common condition that affects more than 23 million people worldwide,3,4 about half of whom have reduced left ventricular function.5 It is the leading cause of hospitalization and readmission in people age 65 and older.6,7 Despite broad use of standard treatments and advances in care, the prognosis for patients with heart failure is poor.8 An estimated one in five people over the age of 40 are at risk of developing heart failure, and approximately 50 percent of people diagnosed with heart failure will die within five years of initial hospitalization.9,10
COSMIC-HF Trial Design
COSMIC-HF (Chronic Oral Study of Myosin Activation to Increase Contractility in Heart Failure) is a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, multicenter, Phase 2 trial designed to evaluate an oral formulation of omecamtiv mecarbil in chronic heart failure patients with reduced ejection fraction. The trial consisted of two parts, a dose escalation phase and a larger and longer expansion phase. The dose escalation phase, which completed in 2013, assessed the pharmacokinetics and tolerability of three oral modified-release formulations of omecamtiv mecarbil and was used to select one formulation for further evaluation in the expansion phase. In the dose escalation phase, 96 patients were randomized 1:1:1:1 to placebo or one of threeomecamtiv mecarbil oral modified-release formulations in two cohorts (25 mg twice daily or 50 mg twice daily). Each patient cohort was followed for 35 days.
The expansion phase evaluated 448 chronic heart failure patients with reduced ejection fraction who were dosed with the selected oral formulation of omecamtiv mecarbil for 20 weeks and followed for a total of 24 weeks. Patients were randomized 1:1:1 to receive either placebo or treatment with omecamtiv mecarbil 25 mg twice daily or 25 mg with dose escalation to 50 mg twice daily depending on plasma concentrations of omecamtiv mecarbil after two weeks of treatment. The primary endpoints for the expansion phase were to assess the maximum and pre-dose plasma concentration of omecamtiv mecarbil. The secondary endpoints were to assess changes from baseline in systolic ejection time, stroke volume, left ventricular end-systolic diameter, left ventricular end-diastolic diameter, heart rate and N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (a biomarker associated with the severity of heart failure) at week 20, as well as the safety and tolerability of omecamtiv mecarbil including incidence of adverse events from baseline to week 24.
COSMIC-HF was not designed to assess the impact of omecamtiv mecarbil on cardiovascular outcomes in heart failure patients.