A new drug has significantly reduced cardiovascular deaths and slowed the progression of heart failure in a clinical trial, according to manufacturer AstraZeneca.

Dapagliflozin (Farxiga) reduced the risk of cardiovascular death, hospital admissions and urgent heart failure care visits when compared to a placebo. The drug was given to heart failure patients with and without type 2 diabetes in addition to standard treatment. Standard treatment included medicines such as angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers and beta blockers.

“Today, half of heart failure patients will die within five years of diagnosis and [the condition] remains one of the leading causes of hospitalization,” said Mene Pangalos, AstraZeneca executive VP – BioPharmaceuticals R&D.  “We look forward to discussing the results of [the study] with health authorities as soon as possible.”