A study published in JAMA found that the investigational medication vericiguat did not have a statistically significant effect on change in NT-proBNP levels in patients with worsening chronic heart failure (HF) and reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) compared to placebo. Findings of the study were also presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2015.

Mihai Gheorghiade, MD, of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, and colleagues, conducted a Phase 2 study that randomized 456 patients with worsening chronic HF and reduced LVEF to receive placebo or one of four daily target doses of the medication vericiguat for 12 weeks. Study authors aimed to determine the optimal dose and tolerability of vericiguat to reduce elevated natriuretic peptide levels. Of the total enrolled patients, 77% completed treatment with valid 12-week N-terminal proB-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) levels and no major protocol deviation. 

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The change in NT-proBNP levels from baseline to Week 12 was not significantly different between the pooled vericiguat group vs. placebo. Results from a secondary analysis did suggest a dose-response relationship, such that higher vericiguat doses were linked to greater reductions in NT-proBNP level. 

“Further clinical trials based on the dose-response relationship in this study are needed to determine the potential role of this drug for patients with worsening chronic HF,” concluded Dr. Gheorghiade. 

Vericiguat an investigational oral sGC (soluble guanylate cyclase) stimulator being co-developed by Bayer and Merck.

For more information visit Merck.com