Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Novartis AG said an experimental drug for acute heart failure didn’t meet the goals in a late-stage clinical trial, dashing the hopes for a medicine once seen by the company as having the potential for annual sales of $1 billion.

The compound, serelaxin, didn’t lower cardiovascular deaths or reduce worsening heart failure as expected in the RELAX-AHF-2 trial, the Basel, Switzerland-based company said in a a statement Wednesday. Novartis will further analyze the results to evaluate the next steps for the drug’s development, according to the statement.

Novartis had hoped that the trial would provide evidence to win over regulators in the U.S. and the European Union who had refused to approve the drug. The Food and Drug Administration in 2014 asked for more information about serelaxin after staff members found insufficient evidence that serelaxin would benefit patients. The EU regulator also questioned the efficacy of the medicine and cited concerns about how a previous trial was run.

Analysts predict the drug will have annual sales of $359 million by 2020, based on the average of 11 estimates.

To contact the reporter on this story: Phil Serafino in Paris at pserafino@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net, Anjali Cordeiro

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