Rimonabant for prevention of cardiovascular events (CRESCENDO): a randomised, multicentre, placebo-controlled trial
ABSTRACT Blockade of the endocannabinoid receptor reduces obesity and improves metabolic abnormalities such as triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, and fasting blood glucose. We assessed whether rimonabant would improve major vascular event-free survival.
This double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was undertaken in 974 hospitals in 42 countries. 18,695 patients with previously manifest or increased risk of vascular disease were randomly assigned to receive either rimonabant 20 mg (n=9381) or matching placebo (n=9314). Randomisation was stratified by centre, implemented with an independent interactive voice response system, and all study personnel and participants were masked to group assignment. The primary endpoint was the composite of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, or stroke, as determined via central adjudication. Analysis was by intention to treat. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00263042.
At a mean follow-up of 13.8 months (95% CI 13.6-14.0), the trial was prematurely discontinued because of concerns by health regulatory authorities in three countries about suicide in individuals receiving rimonabant. All randomised participants were analysed. At the close of the trial (Nov 6, 2008), the composite primary endpoint of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, or stroke occurred in 364 (3.9%) patients assigned to rimonabant and 375 (4.0%) assigned to placebo (hazard ratio 0.97, 95% CI 0.84-1.12, p=0.68). With rimonabant, gastrointestinal (3038 [33%] vs 2084 [22%]), neuropsychiatric (3028 [32%] vs 1989 [21%]), and serious psychiatric side-effects (232 [2.5%] vs 120 [1.3%]) were significantly increased compared with placebo. Four patients in the rimonabant group and one in the placebo group committed suicide.
The premature termination of this trial has important lessons for drug development. A drug that was being marketed for weight loss, but being tested for improving cardiovascular outcomes, induced a level of serious neuropsychiatric effects that was deemed unacceptable by regulatory authorities, and both the drug and the trial were abruptly terminated.
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ABSTRACT: Obesity is a common and morbid disease, but its treatment remains far from ideal. Many doctors, regulatory agencies, media outlets and patients consider lifestyle modification as the only possible intervention. Pharmacological agents, although with limitations, are useful weapons but are highly stigmatized. Some reasons for this stigma are discussed in this editorial and include: the failure of short-term medication use to achieve long-term results (due to the chronic and recurrent condition of obesity); common perception of obesity as a lifestyle choice; difficulty to treat obesity in the primary care setting; less than desired weight-loss results with medications; misuse of medications for cosmetic reasons; and unfavorable history of other anti-obesity drugs that were withdrawn in previous decades.Expert Opinion on Drug Safety 12/2014; 14(2). DOI:10.1517/14740338.2015.995088 · 2.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background In the TRACER trial, vorapaxar, a protease-activated receptor-1 antagonist, plus standard care in non-ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndrome (NSTE ACS) patients did not significantly reduce the primary composite end point but reduced a key secondary end point and significantly increased bleeding. History of peripheral artery disease (PAD) was a risk-enrichment inclusion criterion. We investigated the efficacy and safety of vorapaxar in NSTE ACS patients with documented PAD. Methods TRACER was a double-blind, randomized trial comparing vorapaxar with placebo in 12,944 patients with NSTE ACS. Results In total, 936 (7.2%) patients had a history of PAD. Ischemic events occurred more frequently among patients with PAD (25.3%) versus no PAD (12.2%, P < .001), and Global Use of Strategies to Open Occluded Coronary Arteries moderate/severe bleeding was more common in PAD (9.1%) versus no PAD (5.0%, P = .004). Similar rates of the composite end point (cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, or stroke) occurred in patients with PAD treated with vorapaxar and placebo (21.7% vs 24.8%, P interaction = .787). Patients with PAD treated with vorapaxar, when compared with placebo, also had a numerical reduction in peripheral revascularization procedures (8.1% vs 9.0%, P = .158) and a lower extremity amputation rate (0.9% vs 1.5%, P = .107). Vorapaxar increased Global Use of Strategies to Open Occluded Coronary Arteries moderate/severe bleeding similarly in patients with PAD (hazard ratio 1.47, 95% CI 0.89-2.45) and without (hazard ratio 1.48, 95% CI 1.22-1.79; P interaction = .921). Conclusions Patients with NSTEACS and PAD were at increased risk for ischemic events. Lower rates of ischemic end points, peripheral revascularization, and amputation with vorapaxar did not reach statistical significance but warrant further investigation. Vorapaxar increased bleeding in both patients with and without PAD at a similar magnitude of risk.American Heart Journal 10/2014; 168(4):588-596. DOI:10.1016/j.ahj.2014.06.017 · 4.56 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the hepatic manifestation of the metabolic syndrome and the incidence of which is rising rapidly due to the increasing epidemic of obesity in both adults and children. The initial accumulation of fat followed by subsequent inflammation is central to the development of liver damage, and is critically influenced by host factors including age, gender, presence of diabetes, genetic polymorphisms and more recently by the gut microbiome. An increasing body of data suggest that NAFLD is also an independent risk factor of cardiovascular disease, which remains the commonest cause of mortality in such patients. This review focusses on the pathogenesis of NAFLD, and the evolution of new approaches to the management and treatment of NAFLD. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.Atherosclerosis 01/2015; 239(1):192-202. DOI:10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2015.01.001 · 3.97 Impact Factor