Novartis Sees Positive Phase III Results for Canakinumab

Novartis AG (NOVN.EB) on Sunday said the results of its phase III canakinumab study showed the inflammation treatment could significantly reduce cardiovascular events such as heart attacks, the first evidence to demonstrate that selectively targeting inflammation can cut cardiovascular risk.

The results of the study, which looked at the use of canakinumab to reduce the risk of recurrence of heart attacks in patients with inflammation, were presented at a meeting of the European Society of Cardiology in Barcelona.

Novartis said the results showed the treatment, which works by inhibiting arterial inflammation, reduced major adverse cardiovascular events by 15% and relative heart attack risk by 24%.

Related safety analyses also showed the treatment may reduce lung cancer and lung cancer mortality, Novartis said. The company will initiate additional phase III studies in lung cancer to further explore this.

"The results of [the study] are exciting because we now have clear evidence that in addition to lowering cholesterol, targeting inflammation reduces patients' risk of cardiovascular disease, and perhaps even lung cancer," said Paul Ridker, study chairman and director of the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Novartis plans to submit the data for regulatory approval.

Write to Sonia Amaral Rohter at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 28, 2017 06:20 ET (10:20 GMT)