Merck Acquires NovaCardia, Focuses On Heart Disease

  • July 27, 2007
Merck & Co. Inc. will acquire NovaCardia Inc., a privately held clinical-stage pharma company focused on cardiovascular diseases.

NovaCardia's lead product candidate, KW-3902, an adenosine A1 receptor antagonist, is being studied in Phase 3 clinical trials in patients with acute congestive heart failure (CHF). The drug is believed to block adenosine-mediated constriction of blood flow to the kidneys and inhibit re-absorption of salt and water by the kidney, thereby increasing urine volume and maintaining renal function in patients with CHF.

Preliminary trials indicate that patients treated with the drug experience less shortness of breath, which is a common symptom of CHF, compared to the placebo group. KW-3902 also mitigates the deterioration of renal function often experienced by patients undergoing standard treatment.

-- Tanya Irwin



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