Cimaglermin, a new drug under investigation, could be the future of cardiovascular medicine. A new study from scientists at Vanderbilt show the possibility of the drug for the restoration of cardiac function after heart failure, a leading cause of death for Americans.
More often than not, heart failure patients with severe left ventricular systolic dysfunction in particular do not respond well to current methods of treatment, which led researchers to cimaglermin as an alternative.
Led by Vanderbilt’s Daniel L. Lenihan, MD, researchers conducted a study with 40 heart failure patients who had all been receiving optimal medical therapy post-heart failure for at least three months before they entered the trial and began receiving cimaglermin. However, the researchers only examined the effects on safety and efficacy for a single dose of cimaglermin.
Compared to control participants who were just given a placebo, participants who received the single infusion of cimaglermin showed a substantial increase in pumping capacity, measured in terms of left ventricular ejection fraction. While still an experimental drug, cimaglermin was already being shown to boost the natural mechanisms for repairing all aspects of heart: structural, metabolic, and contractile elements.
“Instead of blocking the fundamental mechanisms that lead to cardiac injury, the early results with cimaglermin suggest that it may also be possible to administer therapeutics that allow the failing heart to repair itself using its own repair mechanisms,” explained Douglas L. Mann, MD, FACC, editer-in-chief of JACC: Back to Translational Science. The current study showed that the most common side effects of the drug were nausea and headaches.
“As with all experimental therapeutics, additional studies will be required and subject to regulatory review to determine if the relative risks and benefits of cimaglermin warrant approval,” said Lenihan. Studies will continue with more participants and more doses of the drug.
Lenihan’s study was recently published in the journal JACC: Basic to Translational Science.
Sources: Vanderbilt University, American College of Cardiology