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AstraZeneca abandons mRNA therapy for heart disease with Moderna after positive Phase 2 clinical trials.
AstraZeneca axed a cardiovascular disease candidate developed in partnership with Moderna from its Phase 2 clinical pipeline .
The pharma giant dropped the mRNA therapy a few months after reporting positive results. But the therapy is still in Moderna’s pipeline.
The AstraZeneca- Moderna drug candidate is AZD8601, a therapy based on mRNA encoding vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) .
In a phase 2a clinical trial reported late last year, researchers injected mRNA encoding VEGF-A directly into the heart muscle of patients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery .
Seven patients received AZD8601 and four received a placebo.
VEGF-A acts as a paracrine factor involved in the formation of new blood vessels and in the production of specialized cells that contribute to cardiac repair and regeneration.
AstraZeneca has said the treatment has achieved positive results, with AZD8601 meeting the primary endpoints of safety and tolerability.
or exploratory efficacy endpoints, numerical trends were observed in the treatment group compared with placebo in the heart failure efficacy domain endpoints, including increased left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and functional patient-reported outcomes.
Seven patients treated with AZD8601 had levels of NT-proBNP , a biomarker that measures elevated hormone levels in heart failure patients, below the heart failure limit within 6 months of follow-up , compared with 1 in the placebo group The patient is above the limit.
However, AstraZeneca dropped the Phase 2 therapy in its quarterly update, and AZD8601 co-developer Moderna still lists the therapy in its pipeline.
(source:internet, reference only)