Recommendations for HCM Depart from 2020 ACC/AHA Guidelines

A recent article by several noted HCM experts shares their recommendations for the screening and evaluation of patients with HCM using several scenarios commonly encountered in clinical practice. Notably, this paper makes several recommendations which differ from the 2020 ACC/AHA Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Patients with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (2020 Guidelines).

In particular, the article recommends:

  • Cardiac MRI with contrast upon initial evaluation, and every 3 – 5 years thereafter.  (The 2020 Guidelines recommend Cardiac MRI in certain situations, but not for all patients)
  • Genetic testing only in cases where a pathogenic or likely pathogenic mutation has been identified in a family member and in limited other circumstances (the 2020 Guidelines recommends genetic testing for all as part of the initial assessment)
  • Screening of family members 12 or older only (the 2020 Guidelines recommend screening of children of any age when genetic HCM is diagnosed in a family member and no later than puberty, in any event)
  • That HCM patients be disqualified from competitive sports. (The 2020 guidelines instead recommend a shared decision making approach).

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Aficamten Updates from Cytokinetics

At two recent meetings, South San Francisco biotech company Cytokinetics presented encouraging data on its experimental drug for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, aficamten (formerly known as CYK-274). 

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Increased COVID Risk for HCM Patients

A recent retrospective study of HCM patients with COVID-19 concluded that HCM patients are at increased risk of hospitalization and death from a COVID-19 infection. 

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More on Aficamten & Mavacamten from ACC 2022

In addition to the presentation of the results of the VALOR-HCM study which compared mavacamten to septal reduction techniques, covered here in its own HCMBeat blog entry, ACC 2022 featured two other presentations about the new class of drugs known as myosin inhibitors, such as Bristol Myers Squibb’s mavacamten and Cytokinetics’ aficamten.

Continue reading “More on Aficamten & Mavacamten from ACC 2022”

VALOR-HCM Trial – Mavacamten vs. Septal Reduction Therapy – RESULTS ARE IN!

The Phase 3 VALOR-HCM trial results were presented this morning at the American College of Cardiology annual meeting in Washington, DC by the principal investigator, Dr. Milind Desai of the Cleveland Clinic, and the results are good!

What was the VALOR-HCM study?

15 – 20  million people worldwide are estimated to have HCM, with 2/3 of this group having the obstructive form which can cause severe symptoms. Historically, these patients have been treated with medications approved for other conditions, and if those don’t relieve symptoms, they are referred on for septal reduction therapies (SRT) like alcohol septal ablation (a catheter based procedure) or septal myectomy (open heart surgery), which are invasive therapies requiring specialized care and which are not widely available.

The VALOR study was designed to compare mavacamten head to head with SRT to see if mavacamten could be a non-invasive treatment alternative for obstructive HCM.

Continue reading “VALOR-HCM Trial – Mavacamten vs. Septal Reduction Therapy – RESULTS ARE IN!”

Traditional Cardiovascular Risk Factors Worsen HCM

According to this recent article in the European Heart Journal, traditional cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity, hypertension and diabetes are associated with more severe forms of HCM. Therefore, the authors suggest that these additional risk factors should be aggressively managed so as to limit their impact on HCM.  

Gene Therapy for HCM

A recent article on Biospace.com describes a method of targeted gene therapy for HCM patients currently being developed by Tenaya Therapeutics. This therapy is intended for patients whose HCM is caused by a mutation in the MYBPC3 gene.

According to Tenaya CEO Faraz Ali, animal models show that this therapy can reverse declining heart function.

You can find more information on about Tenaya’s approach here.

Arrhythmia Monitoring in HCM

Arrhythmia monitoring in HCM patients is used not only for determining risk of sudden death and potential need for an implantable defibrillator, but also for detecting atrial fibrillation (AFib) and implementing anti-coagulation for stroke prevention.

A recent paper provides an overview of the usefulness of arrhythmia monitoring in patients with HCM. 

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Worse Exercise Capacity in Women with HCM

According to this recent study looking at exercise capacity in patients with HCM, women with HCM demonstrated reduced exercise capacity when compared to men.  This paper theorizes that the differences are likely attributable to passive diastolic properties and that these could aid in the development of interventions specifically targeted for women.

Aficamten Gets “Breakthrough Drug” Status from FDA

Cytokinetics has announced that its experimental drug aficamten, currently in trials as a potential treatment for obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, has received breakthrough therapy designation from the FDA.  This designation is awarded by the FDA to certain drugs which may offer substantial improvement to patients over available therapies. The designation could shorten the FDA approval process for the drug by about 4 months.

You can read more about Cytokinetics and aficamten in these older posts from HCMBeat: 

Interview with Dr. Martin Maron about Cytokinetic’s Drug Aficamten 

Cytokinetics Announces Positive Results from REDWOOD-HCM Phase 2 Clinical Trial

Cytokinetics Moves Forward with HCM Drug Trial

Cytokinetics Announces its Phase 2 Clinical Trial

Positive Signs from REDWOOD-HCM

The Future of HCM Care

HCM Clinical Trials – the Latest News

2 Companies Testing Drugs for HCM

Scientists Get $10 Million Grant to Develop HCM Treatments