Boehringer Ingelheim has subsequently been pursuing research into making JARDIANCE® available to patients with heart failure. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
We now have over 10,000 patients in more than 20 countries participating in the indication expansion trials for this medicine. There is a very high hurdle for marketing authorization. Patient safety is always of paramount concern, together with the need for a high level of efficacy. Accordingly, the operational team implementing, coordinating and supervising this trial is very large. We expect to see our first, hopefully positive, results soon.
What would a positive result mean in concrete terms?
Despite the considerable medical progress achieved over the past few years, heart failure patients still suffer an unacceptably high rate of complications such as recurrent hospitalization. Medicines are already available, but many of them have side effects. The overall situation for patients is simply not yet good enough. Moreover, life expectancy for heart failure is in some cases lower than for some cancers: Roughly half of all patients with heart failure will die within the first five years following diagnosis. JARDIANCE® offers a very good opportunity to really make an impact and improve things for these patients.
Does this opportunity also motivate you in your work?
I am spurred on by the prospect of heart failure patients living better lives, with fewer fatalities. That would be fantastic! For a heart failure patient, the mortality rate and the frequency of complications are currently still high. Our goal is to extend patients’ lives. This is where we can make a significant difference.