Top Stories
Top Stories
Wires

Novartis heart drug fails trial, crimping growth prospects

ZURICH, July 29 (Reuters) - Novartis said on Monday a trial for a new use of its Entresto heart drug had failed - calling into questions billions of dollars in hoped for revenue.

The drug, which is already approved for reduced fraction heart failure, narrowly missed its objectives when trialled on patients with preserved ejection fraction heart disease, which affects 13 million people globally.

"The trial narrowly missed statistical significance for its composite primary endpoint of reducing cardiovascular death and total heart failure hospitalizations," Novartis said.

Novartis said it would present the result of the trial at the European Society of Cardiology in September, and discuss next steps with clinical experts and regulators.

The company's shares fell 1.7% to 90.6 Swiss francs in early trading in Zurich following the news.

Analyst Michael Nawrath at Zuercher Kantonalbank said the likelihood of a positive outcome in the study had been low.

"The milder the disease, the higher the hurdle," he said. "It would have been very good for the momentum of Novartis, whose shares would have passed the 100 franc per share mark, on a positive outcome.

"Despite the relatively low expectations, we are talking about a negative but not sustained price reaction." (Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)