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Amgen Exercises Option for Exclusive License to Cytokinetics' Cardiac Contractility Program That Includes CK-1827452
Date:5/26/2009

renergic receptor agonists or inhibitors of phosphodiesterase activity, increase cardiac cell contractility by increasing the concentration of intracellular calcium, which further activates the cardiac sarcomere. This effect on calcium levels, however, also has been linked to potentially life-threatening side effects. The inotropic mechanism of current drugs also increases the velocity of cardiac contraction and shortens systolic ejection time. In contrast, cardiac myosin activators have been shown to work in the absence of changes in intracellular calcium by a novel mechanism that directly stimulates the activity of the cardiac myosin motor protein. Cardiac myosin activators accelerate the rate-limiting step of the myosin enzymatic cycle and shift the enzymatic cycle in favor of the force-producing state. This inotropic mechanism results not in an increase in the velocity of cardiac contraction, but instead, in a lengthening of the systolic ejection time, which results in increased cardiac contractility and cardiac function in a potentially more oxygen-efficient manner.

Background on Heart Failure Market

Heart failure is a widespread and debilitating syndrome affecting millions of people in the United States (U.S.). The high and rapidly growing prevalence of heart failure translates into significant hospitalization rates and associated societal costs. It is estimated that in 2006, 5.5 million patients in the U.S. suffered from chronic heart failure. In 2007, approximately 4.5 million patients in the U.S. had a hospital discharge diagnosis of heart failure. Over 2.4 million of those patients had a primary or secondary diagnosis of heart failure. These numbers are increasing due to the aging of the U.S. population and an increased likelihood of survival following acute myocardial infarctions. The costs to society attributable to the prevalence of heart failure are high, especially as many chronic heart failure patients suffe
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