New Orleans, La. (March 27, 2007) Chest pain due to a shortage of blood in the heart, known as angina, is a condition that affects millions of Americans. The most recently approved new pharmaceutical approach to treat chronic angina is a novel drug called ranolazine, which was approved in 2006 for use as second line therapy in patients who continue to experience angina despite treatment with another class of anti-anginal medication. This restriction is due to theoretical safety concerns associated with small EKG changes noted in patients taking ranolazine.
Accordingly, the Metabolic Efficiency with Ranolazine for Less Ischemia in Non-ST Elevation Acute Coronary Syndromes (MERLIN TIMI-36) study, presented today at the American College of Cardiologys 56th Annual Scientific Session, had the dual objectives to provide new long-term safety data on ranolazine in a high-risk population of patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS) and to study the drugs efficacy in a broad population of people with unstable angina due to ACS. ACC.07 is the premier cardiovascular medical meeting, bringing together cardiologists and cardiovascular specialists from around the world to further breakthroughs in cardiovascular medicine.
The efficacy data showed that ranolazine did not produce a statistically significant reduction in the composite endpoint of cardiovascular death, heart attack and recurrent ischemia (the primary efficacy endpoint of the study), but did show a statistically significant reduction in recurrent ischemia alone. The data showed no adverse trend in death or arrhythmia in patients receiving ranolazine.
Ranolazine is a novel anti-ischemic agent that, unlike other classes of anti-anginal therapy, does not significantly reduce heart rate or blood pressure. The MERLIN TIMI-36 study evaluated the safety and efficacy of ranolazine in the short- and long-term treatment of patients with non-ST elevation ACS.