FDA Declines Approval for Omecamtiv Mecarbil in HFrEF

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declined to approve omecamtiv mecarbil (Cytokinetics) for treatment of adults with chronic heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF), citing a lack of evidence on efficacy.

Omecamtiv mecarbil is a first-in-class, selective cardiac myosin activator designed to improve cardiac performance.

Last December, a panel of FDA advisers recommended against approval of omecamtiv mecarbil for chronic HFrEF, as reported by theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology.

The FDA Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee voted 8 to 3 (with no abstentions) that the benefits of omecamtiv mecarbil do not outweigh the risks for HFrEF. The drug had a PDUFA date of February 28.

The committee’s decision was based on results from the phase 3 GALACTIC-HF trial, which enrolled 8256 patients with HFrEF who were at risk of hospitalization and death, despite standard-of-care therapy.

As previously reported by theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology, omecamtiv mecarbil produced a positive result for the study’s primary endpoint, with a 2.1% absolute reduction in the combined rate of cardiovascular (CV) death, first HF hospitalization, or first urgent visit for HF, compared with placebo during a median follow-up of about 22 months.

This represented an 8% relative risk reduction and broke down as a 0.6% absolute drop in CV death compared with placebo, a 0.7% cut in HF hospitalization, and a 0.8% drop in urgent outpatient HF visits.

In a complete response letter, the FDA said GALACTIC-HF is “not sufficiently persuasive to establish substantial evidence of effectiveness for reducing the risk of heart failure events and cardiovascular death” in adults with HFrEF, Cytokinetics shared in a news release.

Further, the FDA said results from an additional clinical trial of omecamtiv mecarbil are required to establish substantial evidence of effectiveness for the treatment of HFrEF, with benefits that outweigh the risks, Cytokinetics said.

The company said it will request a meeting with the FDA to gain a better understanding of what may be required to support potential approval of omecamtiv mecarbil. However, the company also said it has “no plans” to conduct an additional clinical trial of omecamtiv mecarbil.

Instead, the company said its focus remains on the development of aficamten, the next-in-class cardiac myosin inhibitor, currently the subject of SEQUOIA-HCM, a phase 3 clinical trial in patients with obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).

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