FDA Approves Mavacamten under Brand Name Camzyos

At long last, there is a FDA approved drug specifically intended for the treatment of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.  After several years of testing, and based on the results of the groundbreaking EXPLORER-HCM trial, Bristol Myers Squibb’s new drug mavacamten, being marketed under the brand name Camzyos, is now available to HCM patients.

However, you will not be able to go to your regular drug store and obtain a prescription of Camzyos: the drug is subject to a black box warning applicable to certain medications that have the potential to cause serious harm to the user. Camzyos will only be prescribed through a restricted program called the Camzyos Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS).  The drug will also be sold only by certain specialty pharmacies which understand how the drug works and the risks that it can present. Also, there will be a screening for drug interactions as Camzyos may interact with other drugs you may be taking.  Lastly, patients who are prescribed Camzyos will be required to undergo echocardiograms every 4 weeks for the first three months of treatment, and then every three months thereafter to ensure that the drug hasn’t moved the patient into heart failure.

Even with these restrictions and limitations, this is exciting news for patients with HCM. Hopefully the coming years will show increased safety data and expanded indications for Camzyos.  And, we hope that the list price which is approximately $89,000 annually will not prove to be prohibitive.  Bristol Myers Squibb has put into place a Patient Support program which will hopefully help make the drug and the necessary medical follow up affordable for most patients.

Here is the official Camzyos website for patients.

Here is the official Camzyos website for physicians.

Here is the REMS patient brochure that explains what kind of monitoring is necessary for patients to undergo and what conditions the patient must agree to in order to receive the medication.

Here is what is required to become a certified specialty pharmacy dispensing Camzyos.

And here are some past HCMBeat blog posts about mavacamten from the early days of the South San Francisco biotech company MyoKardia until today. As you can see, there is a lot to catch up on!

MyoKardia HCM Drug Has Success in Cats

Encouraging Results for MyoKardia HCM Drug

MyoKardia Drug Moves to Next Phase

Encouraging Results for MyoKardia HCM Drug

MyoKardia Drug Moves to Next Phase

MyoKardia Announces Positive Result for Mavacamten for Treatment of HOCM

Positive Results for MyoKardia Drug Mavacamten

More Positive Results for MyoKardia Drug

MyoKardia Announces Positive Results from EXPLORER Trial

MyoKardia’s EXPLORER Trial Big Success

MyoKardia Acquired by Bristol Myers Squibb – UPDATED

HCM News from 2021 AHA Scientific Sessions

Mavacamten: A Plain Language Summary of EXPLORER – HCM

What Should Mavacamten Cost?

Guest Blogger Gwen Mayes, JD, MMSc – Cautiously Awaiting the Release of Mavacamten

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

More on Aficamten & Mavacamten from ACC 2022

Cytokinetic’s Drug Aficamten & Upcoming HCM Summit – Interview with Dr. Martin Maron

Editor’s note:  You have probably noticed a distinct uptick in clinical trials of potential treatments for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.  HCMBeat has been following this trend and has previously published a host of stories about such trials, including this story about the positive results from the REDWOOD-HCM Phase 2 clinical trial, as well as past stories discussing the biopharmaceutical company Cytokinetics, its  drug aficamten (previously known as CK-274), and the REDWOOD-HCM trial.

Some of these earlier stories are as follows: 

2 Companies Testing Drugs for HCM

HCM Clinical Trials – the Latest News

Positive Signs from REDWOOD-HCM

Cytokinetics Moves Forward with HCM Drug Trial

Recently, Cynthia Waldman of HCMBeat had the opportunity to speak over Zoom with Dr. Martin Maron, who recently served as the principal investigator of Cytokinetics’ REDWOOD trial.  The conversation focused both on Cytokinetic’s drug aficamten (previously known as CK-274), and the new class of drugs known as “myosin inhibitors.”  What follows is a transcript of their conversation (which has been edited for readability). 

Continue reading “Cytokinetic’s Drug Aficamten & Upcoming HCM Summit – Interview with Dr. Martin Maron”

Mavacamten: A Plain Language Summary of EXPLORER – HCM

I was recently asked by the good people at MyoKardia, now a subsidiary of Bristol Myers Squibb, if I would author a plain language summary of an article to be published in the journal Future Cardiology.  This article summarizes the results of the EXPLORER-HCM trial, which showed that mavacamten, a new type of drug known as a “myosin modulator,” was successful in reducing HCM symptoms in subset of patients who took the drug during the clinical trial. 

I was so fortunate to have Dr. Anjali Owens of the University of Pennsylvania Center for Inherited Cardiac Disease join me as co-author on the article.  I also want to thank the teams at Bristol Myers Squibb and Cello Health Communications/SciFluent who supported us on this project.  And, I so grateful to the former MyoKardia team and the other members of the EXPLORER-HCM Steering Committee who gave me the opportunity to witness a groundbreaking clinical trial from the front row.

This is the article.  When you access the page, click to view the very informative short video, located in the upper right corner of the page, which explains how the drug works in very brief and concise terms.

Check it out!

Cynthia Burstein Waldman, Founder and Editor, HCMBeat

 

MyoKardia’s EXPLORER Trial Big Success

The results of MyoKardia’s Stage 3 EXPLORER study for its experimental drug mavacamten were presented on Saturday at the European Society of Cardiology’s virtual annual meeting and contemporaneously published in The Lancet

The findings from the study showed that mavacamten improved exercise capacity, reduced left ventricular outflow tract gradient (responsible for the obstruction in HCM) and improved New York Heart Association functional class, correlating with a reduction in symptoms and an improvement in quality of life in patients with obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. 

This was the largest placebo controlled randomized trial ever conducted in HCM. Additionally, mavacamten is the first drug specifically developed for the treatment of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. All drugs previously used for HCM symptoms were developed to treat other conditions and were used “off label” to treat HCM.

According to Florence, Italy’s Dr. Iacopo Olivotto, who presented the results to ESC’s virtual audience, mavacamten was generally well tolerated and did not appear to have serious side effects.

MyoKardia said the Explorer-HCM data will form the basis of its submission to the FDA which is planned for the first quarter of 2021.  Last month, the company announced that the drug was awarded “Breakthrough Drug” designation by the FDA which it hopes will streamline the approval process.

Also, a new trial comparing mavacamten to septal myectomy and septal alcohol ablation entitled VALOR-HCM for patients with symptomatic, obstructive HCM and who are New York Heart Association Class III – IV who meet the criteria for septal reduction therapy and have been referred for such a procedure has just gotten underway with the first patient enrolled earlier this month.

DISCLOSURES:  HCMBEAT HAS RECEIVED UNRESTRICTED EDUCATIONAL GRANTS FROM MYOKARDIA.  ADDITIONALLY, CYNTHIA BURSTEIN WALDMAN OF HCMBEAT SERVED AS A PATIENT ADVISOR ON THE STEERING COMMITTEE OF MYOKARDIA’S EXPLORER TRIAL and is credited as an author of the study as published in the lancet.  cynthia also serves on myokardia’s patient advisory board.