Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a general term that refers to all conditions affecting the heart and blood vessels (circulation). These include angina, heart attack (also known as myocardial infarction), heart failure, stroke, and a number of diseases that affect the blood vessels.
CVD is usually associated with a build-up of fatty deposits inside the blood vessels (arteries) which make the vessels become narrowed (atherosclerosis). The body also reacts to the fatty deposits by sending white blood cells to the blood vessels; this process is called inflammation. The fatty deposits along with the inflammation lead to reduction of the blood supply to the heart and significantly increase the risks of heart attack and other types of cardiovascular diseases.
Canakinumab is a medicine being developed to target inflammation. It is the first and only agent which has shown that by selectively targeting some specific biomarkers of inflammation, it significantly reduces cardiovascular risks. Canakinumab is currently being developed to be used as an add-on therapy for patients who have had a prior heart attack and have a higher risk of further cardiovascular disease.
Entresto (a tablet comprising a combination of the drugs sacubitril and valsartan), is in clinical development for people with chronic heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. Heart Failure (HF) is a complex clinical syndrome of symptoms and signs that suggest the efficiency of the heart as a pump is impaired. Symptoms include breathlessness and fatigue, and signs of the condition include swollen ankles and crackling sounds in the lungs. People with HF often have a poor quality of life, and about a third of people experience severe and prolonged depressive illness. About half of people with HF have a preserved ejection fraction (HF-PEF), meaning that over 50% of the blood in the left ventricle is pumped out with each contraction of the heart.