Mast Therapeutics Inc. (NYSE: MSTX), a San Diego-based company working to develop a product for diseases or conditions characterized by impaired blood flow, announced Monday that its lead candidtate demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in numerous parameters of heart function in a placebo-controlled, nonclinical model of chronic heart failure.
The company said the improvements were seen in functions including left ventricular ejection fraction, end-systolic volume, stroke volume and cardiac output. The model tested Mast's MST-188, a cytoprotective, hemorheologic, anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic agent.
According to Mast, results showed that a single two-hour infusion of MST-188 resulted in improvements that were significant immediately following the full MST-188 administration, and remained significant at one week. In some cases, the improvements were still seen at two weeks following administration.
Dr. Hani N. Sabbah, professor of medicine and director of cardiovascular research at Henry Ford Health System, said the data show that MST-188 improves left ventricular ejection fraction and end-systolic volume, both of which are important indicators of long-term mortality and morbidity in chronic heart failure.
"The durability of response is very encouraging and merits clinical investigation," Sabbah said.
Dr. Santosh Vetticaden, chief medical officer of Mast Therapeutics, called heart failure an area of significant unmet medical need in that it accounts for more than one million hospitalizations every year in the U.S.
"We look forward to discussing these results with heart failure experts and potential partners and mapping our clinical development strategy in this exciting new indication," Vetticaden said.
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