A new drug, inclacumab, developed by Swiss lab Hoffmann-La Roche, showed significant results in the phase II clinical trial in reducing the levels of inflammatory enzymes that mark heart damage.
Most often, heart tissue is inflamed following angioplasty and an increase in the proteins, troponin I and CK-MB are noticed. Inclacumab is designed to reduce the levels of these biomarkers thereby reducing heart damage.
The trial involved 530 heart patients with an average age of 61 years and who were undergoing angioplasty following a particular type of heart attack named non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction.
The patients were randomly given an infusion of either inclacumab of 20mg/kg m or 5mg/kg or a placebo one hour before angioplasty.
Researchers found that the troponin I levels were decreased by 22.4% and by 24.4% respectively after 16 hours and 24 hours of surgery for higher doses of inclacumab. Lower doses of the drug showed no significant effect on the enzyme levels. CK-MB levels remained high in 18.3% of patients, who were given placebo.
The clinical data was presented by Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif, who led the study at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) scientific meeting in San Francisco.
Authors thus conclude that the efficiency of the drug in treating other heart patients apart from those undergoing angioplasty remains yet to be explored.