The new set of data, compiled by means of state of the art technology, has shown that heart transplant patients treated with CellCept have significantly less coronary artery disease than those treated with azathioprine (AZA) in the first year after heart transplantation (0.005). This finding could further explain the superior survival benefits of CellCept.
For heart transplant patients, cardiovascular disease is the predominant cause of post-transplant death.3 The body's own immune response to the transplanted organ, and the cocktail of drugs taken by the patient cause an increase in coronary artery disease and other risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes and hyperlipidaemia. However, unlike other immunosuppressants, CellCept is NOT associated with these risk factors.
"These results add to the body of evidence demonstrating the superior efficacy, low-toxicity and cardioprotective profile of CellCept. They show CellCept to offer real long-term benefits to patients, both in terms of overall patient survival and health of the graft," comments William M. Burns, Head of Roche's Pharmaceuticals Division. "CellCept has boosted prescriber confidence and is the ideal cornerstone immunosuppressive agent for 'heart healthy' treatment regimens."
About the study
A total of 650 heart transplant patients from 28 centres were enrolled in the pivotal trial. Patients were then randomly assigned to receive CellCept (3000mg/day) or azathioprine (1.5-3.0 mg/kg/day), in addition to cyclosporine and corticosteroids.