Promising Data about Aficamten Presented at Meetings

Encouraging data about the Cytokinetics investigational drug aficamten was presented over the weekend at 2 scientific meetings held in Washington D.C.

The inaugural Scientific Sessions of the newly formed HCM Society took place on Friday, while the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) Annual Scientific Meeting continues through October 3.

Both meetings featured presentations of data from the REDWOOD-HCM Open Label Extension trial.  The REDWOOD trial is a Stage 2 clinical trial of the second generation myosin modulator aficamten.

The HCM Society presentation showed that a significant number of patients on aficamten were able to discontinue one or more background drugs which they had been taking together with aficamten to address their symptoms.

The HFSA presentation, given by Dr. Sara Saberi of the University of Michigan’s HCM Center, showed that in addition to seeing a substantial reduction to left ventricular outflow tract gradients, patients self reported significant improvements to their symptoms and their quality of life. The improvements were evidenced through questionnaires filled out by the patients after 24 weeks on aficamten.

Cytokinetics is currently enrolling patients with symptomatic obstructive HCM in its Stage 3 trial of aficamten, called SEQUOIA – HCM, while they continue looking at the impact of aficamten on non-obstructive HCM in cohort 4 of the REDWOOD-HCM trial.

You can find all of the past HCMBeat blog entries about aficamten in the links below:

2 Companies Testing Drugs for HCM

HCM Clinical Trials – the Latest News

The Future of HCM Care

Positive Signs from REDWOOD-HCM

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

Aficamten Gets “Breakthrough Drug” Status from FDA

More on Aficamten & Mavacamten from ACC 2022

Cytokinetics Announces its Phase 2 Clinical Trial – “Redwood-HCM”

Cytokinetics Moves Forward with HCM Drug Trial

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

Myectomy: Still the Gold Standard for HOCM

An expert panel comprised of many of the world’s top HCM experts recently published a retrospective analysis in The American Journal of Cardiology which looked at septal myectomy over the last 60 years of practice.

 Beginning with the introduction of the procedure at the National Institute of Health in the early 1960s, this paper surveys the history of the procedure until the present day.  The conclusion of the paper is that myectomy remains the best treatment for patients with obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Continue reading “Myectomy: Still the Gold Standard for HOCM”

A Professional HCM Society is Born

Social media erupted this week with exciting news for the HCM community  A new professional society specifically devoted to the study and treatment of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy has been launched. The name is the HCM Medical Society and its new website can be found here.

Founding members of the Board of Directors include many of the top HCM clinicians and researchers from around the world.

The HCM Society will focus on “clinical excellence, research and education” and will hold its inaugural meeting on Friday, September 30 in Washington D.C.

This is wonderful news for HCM patients, and HCMBeat hopes to have more about the future plans for HCM Society in the coming weeks.

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).

Continue reading “Recommendations for HCM Depart from 2020 ACC/AHA Guidelines”

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). 

Continue reading “Aficamten Updates from Cytokinetics”

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. 

Continue reading “Increased COVID Risk for HCM Patients”

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.

Continue reading “FDA Approves Mavacamten under Brand Name Camzyos”

Sports and HCM – Moving Toward Shared Decision Making

While competitive sports used to be frowned upon in the HCM literature, there is now some evidence that a patient’s risk from exercise is low when they have been implanted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). This feature from Medpage Today gives an overview of contemporary thinking about exercise in HCM patients.

Continue reading “Sports and HCM – Moving Toward Shared Decision Making”

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.  

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.