Results from a recent study showed that a Pfizer drug could extend the life expectancy of patients with a potentially fatal heart condition by 30 percent.
The results beat expectations for the drug, tafamidis, which was being studied on patients with transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy. The condition is currently considered rare — globally, only 2,000 to 5,000 patients receive a diagnosis for it each year. But Pfizer believes that the illness, which is triggered when a protein that circulates naturally becomes unstable, is underdiagnosed, and that the true number of patients around the world is closer to 500,000. Now that new data is being provided about the condition, the company expects that more patients will receive an accurate diagnosis.
If approved, tafamidis will be the only drug on the market to treat transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy, although there are two other companies — Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Ionis Pharmaceuticals — developing medications for a similar disease.
Of the 440 patients enrolled in Pfizer’s study, the risk of dying for those taking tafamidis decreased to about 30 percent, compared to 42.9 percent for those taking a placebo. The risk of hospitalization also decreased by about 32 percent.
Analysts predict that the positive results could help propel tafamidis to blockbuster status once it’s approved.
Read the full Bloomberg report.