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Top AstraZeneca heart drug Farxiga sees potential to reach more patients

August 27, 2022, 3:21 PM UTC
Leif Johansson, non-executive chairman of AstraZeneca Plc, during a panel session on the opening day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on May 23.
Hollie Adams—Bloomberg/Getty Images

One of AstraZeneca Plc’s top-selling drugs Farxiga, a diabetes treatment, is beneficial to a wider pool of patients than previously indicated, a study shows, bolstering the product’s blockbuster potential.
Farxiga is so far approved for patients with diabetes or kidney disease to prevent heart failure, and for those already suffering failure due to lower than normal levels of blood being pumped out each time the heart contracts. The latest results show the drug can also work on patients with heart failure who have higher levels of blood being pumped out with each beat.

The UK pharmaceuticals giant had already revealed high level results back in May showing this study of Farxiga had met its primary endpoint. It presented the full details of the study at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday.

Astra said it’s submitting applications with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for expanded use.

Farxiga is the second Astra medicine that has potential to generate more revenue as studies support use in a broader population. Earlier this year, another study found for the first time that the company’s cancer drug Enhertu, co-developed with Japanese partner Daiichi Sankyo Co., can be used for a group of breast cancer patients with limited treatment options to extend their lives.

Revenue from Farxiga is expected to jump nearly 37% to $4.1 billion in 2022, a consensus from 14 analysts compiled by Bloomberg show.

Heart failure affects nearly 64 million people globally and about half have reduced levels of blood pumping out with each contraction—the type for which Farxiga has been approved as a treatment. However, people with diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney disease tend to develop heart failure with higher levels of blood ejection and so far face limited treatment options.

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