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Largest study of this type ever undertaken
Ingelheim, Germany, 14 January 2011 – Extensive research has demonstrated the efficacy of pimobendan in treating dogs with congestive heart failure (CHF) caused by myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD).1 Now, a group of the top veterinary cardiologists from around the globe, supported by Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, is embarking on a landmark study to determine whether pimobendan can also delay the onset of clinical signs of the condition.
“The implications for dogs and their owners could be enormous”, Professor Adrian Boswood from The Royal Veterinary College in the United Kingdom and lead investigator for the study said. "If the research shows that pimobendan is effective before clinical signs of MMVD appear, this could lead to a new treatment option for practitioners.”
The recruitment period for the study, which is known as EPIC (Evaluating Pimobendan In Cardiomegaly), will continue through 2012, with the clinical phase to be completed by 2015.
“This is the largest study of its type ever undertaken”, said Professor Boswood. “Veterinary cardiologists at 36 centres in 11 nations in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia are participating.”
Congestive heart failure is one of the most pervasive and deadly diseases affecting dogs. Worldwide, one dog in ten suffers from some type of heart disease, and valvular heart diseases, such as MMVD, affect about 10 percent of young dogs and as many as one-third of dogs aged 13 years and older.² Whilst medicines such as pimobendan are highly effective in treating the clinical stage of the disease, there are currently no licenced products available for use in the longer preclinical stage of the disease.
A previous study, QUEST (Quality of Life and Extension of Survival Time), established pimobendan as a new standard of treatment, demonstrating that pimobendan in combination with standard therapy significantly extended the life of dogs suffering from the clinical stage of congestive heart failure (CHF) due to MMVD. The EPIC trial, which is even larger in scope, will build on those results by initiating pimobendan treatment at the preclinical instead of the clinical stage. The endpoint of this study is the onset of CHF – the point where the QUEST trial began.
“We are delighted to be teaming up with some of the world’s top experts to answer this important question in veterinary cardiology”, reported Dr Joachim Hasenmaier, Global Head of Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health. Dr Hasenmaier further pointed out that “to ensure unbiased results and transparency, the EPIC data will be analysed independently and the lead investigators will be guaranteed the right to publish the results – regardless of outcome.”
To learn more about EPIC, please visit www.epictrial.com
Boehringer Ingelheim - The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 142 affiliates in 50 countries and more than 41,500 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed for 125 Years to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.
In 2009, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of 12.7 billion euro while spending 21% of net sales in its largest business segment Prescription Medicines on research and development.
Please be advised - This release is from Boehringer Ingelheim’s Corporate Headquarters in Germany. Please be aware that there may be national differences between countries regarding specific medical information, including licensed uses. Please take account of this when referring to the information provided in this document.
*Pimobendan is currently not licensed for use in pre-symptomatic (“preclinical”) heart disease in dogs and, its safety and efficacy has not yet been fully established in this indication
1. Boswood A. Current Use of Pimobendan in Canine Patients with Heart Disease. In: Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice. 2010 July; 40 (4): 571-80.
2. Buchanan JW. Prevalence of Cardiovascular Disorders. In: Fox PR, Sisson D, Moise NS, eds. Textbook of Canine and Feline Cardiology. Philadelphia: Saunders, W.B.; 1999: 457-470.