Vericiguat in Patients With Heart Failure and Reduced Ejection Fraction

N Engl J Med. 2020 May 14;382(20):1883-1893. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1915928. Epub 2020 Mar 28.

Abstract

Background: The effect of vericiguat, a novel oral soluble guanylate cyclase stimulator, in patients with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction who had recently been hospitalized or had received intravenous diuretic therapy is unclear.

Methods: In this phase 3, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, we assigned 5050 patients with chronic heart failure (New York Heart Association class II, III, or IV) and an ejection fraction of less than 45% to receive vericiguat (target dose, 10 mg once daily) or placebo, in addition to guideline-based medical therapy. The primary outcome was a composite of death from cardiovascular causes or first hospitalization for heart failure.

Results: Over a median of 10.8 months, a primary-outcome event occurred in 897 of 2526 patients (35.5%) in the vericiguat group and in 972 of 2524 patients (38.5%) in the placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.90; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.82 to 0.98; P = 0.02). A total of 691 patients (27.4%) in the vericiguat group and 747 patients (29.6%) in the placebo group were hospitalized for heart failure (hazard ratio, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.81 to 1.00). Death from cardiovascular causes occurred in 414 patients (16.4%) in the vericiguat group and in 441 patients (17.5%) in the placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.81 to 1.06). The composite of death from any cause or hospitalization for heart failure occurred in 957 patients (37.9%) in the vericiguat group and in 1032 patients (40.9%) in the placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.83 to 0.98; P = 0.02). Symptomatic hypotension occurred in 9.1% of the patients in the vericiguat group and in 7.9% of the patients in the placebo group (P = 0.12), and syncope occurred in 4.0% of the patients in the vericiguat group and in 3.5% of the patients in the placebo group (P = 0.30).

Conclusions: Among patients with high-risk heart failure, the incidence of death from cardiovascular causes or hospitalization for heart failure was lower among those who received vericiguat than among those who received placebo. (Funded by Merck Sharp & Dohme [a subsidiary of Merck] and Bayer; VICTORIA ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02861534.).

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Chronic Disease
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy*
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Heterocyclic Compounds, 2-Ring / adverse effects
  • Heterocyclic Compounds, 2-Ring / therapeutic use*
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Hypotension / chemically induced
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pyrimidines / adverse effects
  • Pyrimidines / therapeutic use*
  • Soluble Guanylyl Cyclase / metabolism
  • Stroke Volume
  • Syncope / chemically induced
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / drug therapy

Substances

  • Heterocyclic Compounds, 2-Ring
  • Pyrimidines
  • Soluble Guanylyl Cyclase
  • vericiguat

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02861534