Pfizer Ends Development Of Its PCSK9 Inhibitor

–Immune issues and diminishing efficacy doomed the new drug. Pfizer announced on Tuesday that it was discontinuing development of bococizumab, its cholesterol-lowering PCSK9 inhibitor under development. “The totality of clinical information now available for bococizumab, taken together with the evolving treatment and market landscape for lipid-lowering agents, indicates that bococizumab is not likely to provide…

Click here to continue reading…

Debaters At Interventional Cardiology Meeting Literally Put The Gloves On

The world’s premiere interventional cardiology meeting now features cardiologists wearing boxing shorts and gloves. The Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) meeting in Washington, DC kicked off  with a “Saturday Night Fights” theme for its debate session, and the participants– nearly all greying, eminent male interventional cardiologists– adopted the theme whole-heartedly. All lovey-dovey at the start of #TCT2016 fights pic.twitter.com/upGprIcxkQ…

Click here to continue reading…

Impella No Better Than IABP in Cardiogenic Shock

–Underpowered IMPRESS trial shows no mortality benefit A rare randomized trial and a new meta-analysis both failed to find any evidence that Impella mechanical circulatory support devices are any better than intra-aortic balloon pumps (IABPs) for patients with cardiogenic shock. For many years, the intra-aortic balloon pump has been the standard device to increase circulation…

Click here to continue reading…

Universal Child FH Screening Proposed

–Novel strategy would identify both children and adults at high risk for CV events. Doctors in the U.K. are proposing a novel strategy to identify very young children with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). The strategy would also identify and help prevent events in the parents who also have FH. The new approach begins with a heel-stick…

Click here to continue reading…

Calcium Levels and CV Risk: New Study Finds No Link

–But most agree dietary calcium is preferable to supplements A new review concludes that a high level of calcium intake, whether from food or supplements, is not linked to increased cardiovascular risk, as long as the total calcium intake remains below the tolerable upper level of intake (2,000-2,500 mg/day). The systematic review, published in Annals…

Click here to continue reading…

Eliquis Nipping At The Heels of NOAC Market Leader Xarelto

–But the overall market for the new oral anticoagulants continues to expand. The new oral anticoagulant (NOAC) market is growing larger and is becoming increasingly competitive. The latest market data shows that apixaban (Eliquis, Pfizer and BristolMyers Squibb) is challenging the established leader in the field, rivaroxaban (Xarelto, Johnson & Johnson). According to recent data…

Click here to continue reading…

Novel Cholesterol Drugs Move Forward In Clinical Trials

–New information about upcoming cholesterol drugs from the Medicines Company and Esperion Recently the makers of two novel cholesterol-lowering drugs in development provided important updates on their progress. On Tuesday, the Medicines Company announced positive top-line results for a trial of its unusual PCSK9 synthesis inhibitor scheduled to be presented in November. Last week Esperion…

Click here to continue reading…

Caffeine Study Gives Heart Failure Patients Green Light To Drink Coffee

–A small but rigorous study found no arrhythmias caused by caffeine consumption. Many people with heart failure are advised to avoid coffee because of fears that caffeine might provoke an arrhythmia. Now a rare example of a randomized controlled trial in the field offers some assuring evidence that these patients can safely drink coffee. The…

Click here to continue reading…

Calcium Supplements Linked To Increased Cardiovascular Risk

–But the observational study suggested an overall benefit for dietary calcium. A new observational study finds that calcium supplements may increase cardiovascular risk. By contrast, dietary calcium was linked to a protective effect. Many people– in particular, older women– take calcium supplements to prevent or treat osteoporosis, though the supporting evidence for this use is…

Click here to continue reading…

FDA Reaffirms Safety And Efficacy Of Rivaroxaban

–FDA says no changes needed to the rivaroxaban label. Following a year of controversy and uncertainty relating to the anticoagulant drug rivaroxaban (Xarelto, Johnson & Johnson), the FDA has reaffirmed the drug’s safety and efficacy. Rivaroxaban is approved for stroke reduction in patients with atrial fibrillation. The indication is based on results of the ROCKET-AF…

Click here to continue reading…

No, $75 Million Won’t Cure Heart Disease Or Reinvent Science

–Silicon Valley hype and hubris come to cardiology. We may be close to peak hype and hubris in cardiology. This week some of the smartest people on the planet said that $75 million can help find new ways to prevent heart disease AND, as if that’s not enough, completely reinvent the way we do science….

Click here to continue reading…

LDL-Lowering Genetic Variants Linked to Diabetes Risk

–What can genetics tell us about diabetes incidence with cholesterol drugs? Editor’s note: The following guest post was contributed by Marilyn Mann, a well-known advocate for patients with familial hypercholesterolemia and a patient advisor to Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, several LDL-lowering genetic…

Click here to continue reading…

Trump’s Risk For A Cardiac Event Is Seven Times Hilary Clinton’s Risk

Editor’s note: The following guest post is reprinted with permission from Dr. Anthony Pearson, a cardiologist who is the medical director of the Echocardiography Laboratory and Anticoagulation Clinic at St. Lukes Hospital, Chesterfield, Missouri. Dr. Pearson writes The Skeptical Cardiologist blog, where this post originally appeared. Donald Trump recently appeared on the Dr. Oz show and handed a letter to the…

Click here to continue reading…

More Bleeding Linked To Rivaroxaban In Observational Study

–Compared to dabigatran, rivaroxaban was associated with more intracranial and other serious bleeds. A new observational study finds that patients who take rivaroxaban (Xarelto, Johnson & Johnson) may be more likely to have serious bleeding events than patients who take dabigatran (Pradaxa, Boehringer Ingelheim). In a paper published in JAMA Internal Medicine, David Graham and…

Click here to continue reading…

Ticagrelor No Better Than Clopidogrel In Peripheral Artery Disease

AstraZeneca announces top-line results from EUCLID trial ahead of the AHA. Ticagrelor is no better than clopidogrel in patients who have peripheral artery disease, a large new study will show. On Tuesday morning AstraZeneca announced the top line results of the EUCLID (Examining Use of Ticagrelor in PAD) trial. The full results will be presented…

Click here to continue reading…

More Blasts Of Concern Over ROCKET-AF

The controversy over the big Xarelto trial does not appear to be going away. A new investigation published in the BMJ raises more troubling questions about the ROCKET-AF trial, which compared the novel oral anticoagulant rivaroxaban (Xarelto, Johnson & Johnson) to warfarin in patients with atrial fibrillation. The controversy about the trial first unfolded last…

Click here to continue reading…

NIH Funds Second Round Of Controversial Chelation Tria

–TACT2 will test chelation in heart attack patients with diabetes. The NIH has agreed to fund a second round of a highly controversial study testing the possible benefits of chelation therapy in heart attack patients with diabetes. The second Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT2), now recruiting patients at more than 100 clinical sites, is…

Click here to continue reading…

Zombie Lab Sues Former Execs, Owners, And Sales Force

–Yet more fallout from the catastrophic bankruptcy of HDL Lab The Zombie Lab case just got even messier. Last Friday the trustee for the bankrupt Health Diagnostic Laboratory (HDL) filed a massive lawsuit against the former executives, owners, sales force members, and others who profited from HDL. The 205-page lawsuit includes a detailed narrative of…

Click here to continue reading…

Debate: Switching From Standard HF Therapy To Entresto

–A debate at the HFSA in Orlando over whether all patients tolerating standard therapy should be switched to Entresto. Editor’s Note: Heart failure specialist Eiran Z. Gorodeski (Cleveland Clinic) wrote this account of an important debate on Monday at the Heart Failure Society of America meeting in Orlando. (This account has been updated by Gorodeski with…

Click here to continue reading…

American Heart Association and American Society Of Hypertension Explore Merger

–The two US blood pressure societies want to become ‘a single force multiplier in the fight against hypertension’ The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Society of Hypertension (ASH) are officially exploring a merger. In a message sent to ASH members, ASH president John Bisognano (University of Rochester) said that “for the past several…

Click here to continue reading…

Zombie Lab Company Sics Bill Collectors On Doctors Who Took Kickbacks

–The liquidating trustee for HDL Lab is seeking to reclaim kickbacks paid to doctors who ordered the company’s tests. Many doctors who ordered tests in the past from Health Diagnostic Laboratory (HDL) are now opening some unexpected and very unwelcome letters. HDL was the billion dollar lab company with a meteoric rise and an even…

Click here to continue reading…

The Lancet Versus BMJ: Dispatch From The Statin Wars

–The editors of the two top UK medical journals are in a bitter fight over statins. The editors of the two top medical journals in the UK are at war over statins. The bitter fight has its origins in the 2014 publication in the BMJ of two articles that were highly critical of statins. Rory…

Click here to continue reading…

SPRINTing to Lower BP Targets? Not So Fast

–Hypertension experts disagree about how to apply SPRINT results in the real world.  Once again blood pressure experts are disagreeing about how to interpret SPRINT and how its results should be applied in the real world. A new study claims that applying the SPRINT results to US patients who meet SPRINT criteria would prevent more…

Click here to continue reading…

How Sweet: Sugar Industry Made Fat the Villain

–Harvard researchers received sugar industry money to write a NEJM review. Newly uncovered documents reveal that 50 years ago the sugar industry gave secret support to prominent Harvard researchers to write an influential series of articles in the New England Journal of Medicine that downplayed the negative effects of sugar. Instead, the articles shifted the blame…

Click here to continue reading…

Guest Post: JACC Retracts AF Ablation Trial

Editor’s note: This guest post by Dalmeet Singh Chawla is reprinted with the permission of Retraction Watch, where it was originally published in a slightly different form. –Lead author Andrea Natale claims undue industry influence. The Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) has retracted a recently published paper that questioned the effectiveness of a treatment for atrial…

Click here to continue reading…