Leicester academic plays lead role in new heart failure drug test

Posted by ap507 at Dec 11, 2014 10:18 AM |
Professor Iain Squire is UK lead in testing treatment for patients with heart failure

A team from the University of Leicester and Leicester’s Hospitals has played a vital role in identifying a new treatment for reducing the risk of death or emergency hospital admission among patients with serious heart problems.

Professor Iain Squire (pictured), Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University and a consultant at Leicester’s Hospitals, was the UK national lead in a five-year study of a medication that involved over 8,000 patients in more than 40 countries. Professor Squire led the research from over 250 patients at NHS hospitals.

The international team, whose research is published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), found that a pill, Sacubitril Valsartan, reduces by one-fifth the risk of sudden death among patients with heart failure, a serious heart problem.

The team concluded that the drug was superior to the current medication – enalapril - for treating the condition.

The new drug was compared the ACE inhibitor enalapril, and resulted in a 16% reduction in the risk of death and a 20% reduction in the need for emergency hospital admission for heart failure. In addition, patients taking sacubitril valsartan felt better than those taking enalapril. Taken together, the results represent an important step in the management of heart failure.

The study was conducted by Dr Squire and his research team at Glenfield Hospital, utilising the University of Leicester/UHL facilities in the Leicester NIHR Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit (BRU).