Heart disease continues to claim lives with reductionin experimental heart care drugs

Cardiovascular illness still tops the list of diseases causing most number of deaths. But this isn’t influencing researchers to conduct more number of trials to develop new drugs. What’s more, proportion of heart drugs in clinical trials has dropped from 1990 to 2012.

A study published in the August 29 in the journal JACC: Basic to Translational Science found that during said time period, 347 heart drugs were part of clinical trials. Majority of drugs targeted conditions such as high blood pressure, blood clotting and lower lipid levels in blood.

Heart drugs used in phase 1 trial between 1990 and 1995 comprised of 108 of 679 all kind of drugs involved in phase 1 trials during the period. On contrary, the number of trials for period between 2005 and 2012 accounted for 125 of 2,366 phase 1 trials. Phase 1 is the first stage of assessing efficacy of a drug.

Heart disease is responsible for one-third of deaths in the United States. The study found that in 1990, proportion of heart drugs used in phase 3 trials was 21%, which fell to 7% by the year 2012. However, number of cancer drugs used in trials increased over the same period. Impact of heart disease is still significant that makes the whole matter concerning.

"These findings shed light on several important shifts in cardiovascular research and development activity over the past two decades. While the overall number of new investigational cardiovascular drugs has declined, we also found a relative growth in the number of drugs targeting novel biological pathways,” said senior author Dr. Aaron Kesselheim, who is an associate professor of medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.