Cytokinetics’ heart win might make Bristol wince
After spending decades researching cardiac myostatin modulators, with mixed success to date, Cytokinetics might have finally hit the target. The company's shares opened up 52% on topline data from the phase 2 Redwood-HCM trial, in patients with the rare heart condition hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). The study found CK-274 to be significantly better than placebo at improving blood flow through the heart on two measures; results hit significance across all time points and dosages. With data in only 41 patients the results need replicating but, the usual caveats notwithstanding, CK-274 could be a keen competitor to mavacamten, for which Bristol Myers Squibb paid $13.1bn last year. Mizuho analysts pointed out that in cohort 2 – which used the likely phase 3 dosage – 92.9% of patients hit target gradient, a measure of heart pressure, compared with 74% in mavacamten’s HCM pivotal trial. A pivotal study will start by year end, executives said today, adding that they were open to partnering outside the US. Investors bidding up the stock are presumably hoping for a more expansive deal; even with a newly enlarged market cap of $2bn, Cytokinetics is still worth considerably less than what Myokardia, mavacamten's maker, finally went for.