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Study confers protective benefits on Micardis

Published on 04/04/08 at 05:07pm

Boehringer Ingelheim's hypertension treatment Micardis has come out on top of Aventis's gold standard ACE inhibitor Tritace in a new study.

Results of the ONTARGET trial found angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) Micardis (telmisartan) as protective as Tritace (ramipril) and better tolerated in a broad high-risk cardiovascular population.

The result is significant since cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, causing over 17.5 million deaths (7.6 million from heart attack and 5.7 million from stroke) every year.

The randomised, double-blind programme is the largest outcome cardiovascular trial ever undertaken, and included high-risk patients with a history of coronary heart disease, stroke, transient ischaemic attack, peripheral vascular disease or diabetes with target organ damage.

The results mean that Micardis is now the only ARB to have proven cardio and vascular protective benefits beyond blood pressure reduction in this population. Tritace was previously the only treatment to show these protective effects and Boehringer Ingelheim says the trial therefore shows that Micardis can prevent every fifth serious cardiovascular event.

Data from 2000's HOPE trial showed that Tritace (10-mg), for high-risk patients aged 55 and over, reduced the relative risk of heart attack by 20%, death from cardiovascular problems by 26% and stroke by 32%.

The new results suggest that Micardis reduces the risk of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, stroke, and hospitalisation for congestive heart failure in this high-risk patient population.

"We now have a new treatment option for high-risk patients which is effective and better tolerated," said Professor Salim Yusuf, the trial's lead investigator and director of the Population Health Research Institute at McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.

ONTARGET also found that combining Micardis with Tritace provides no additional protective benefit for the overall patient population.

Boehringer Ingelheim managing director Dr Andreas Barner said: "The trial has an extremely robust data base that will enable the medical community to answer questions where no scientific proof was available before. With 99.8% of patients followed over these years, this is one of the best managed landmark trials ever."

Global deaths from cardiovascular disease are expected to reach 25 million by 2020, at which time it will also be the largest cause of disability worldwide, according to estimates.

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