Atrial fibrillation therapeutic pipeline is expected to increase on account of increasing prevalence of lifestyle disease such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, which in turn lead to increase in the incidence of the disease. Some other prominent factors driving the pipeline analysis for atrial fibrillation include aging population, growing tobacco and alcohol consumption and rising health awareness among people. According to the recently published data by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 2.7 to 6.1 million people in the U.S. are suffering from atrial fibrillation, with 2% of the infected population being less than 65 years of age. Each year around 750,000 patients get hospitalized because of atrial fibrillation and around 130,000 people die every year. Atrial fibrillation has become one of the major causes of deaths, globally, and costs the United States about $6 billion each year. Annually, medical costs for people who have atrial fibrillation are about $8,705 higher than those who do not have atrial fibrillation. The disease is more prevalent in females as compared to males.
Atrial fibrillation, also known as AFib, is the condition involving irregular heartbeats resulting in increased risk of ischemia, blood clots, heart failure, stroke and other heart diseases. This condition arises more commonly in people with high blood pressure, heart muscle disease, heart valve disease, heart defect, enlargement of the chambers on the left side of the heart, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, obesity, heavy alcohol and tobacco consumption, smoking and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Atrial fibrillation can be occasional, persistent, long-standing persistent and permanent depending on its severity. The symptoms of atrial fibrillation include weakness, breath shortening, chest pain, tiredness, dizziness and palpitations. Symptoms vary from mild to severe in different individuals. Atrial fibrillation is diagnosed by an electrocardiogram, blood tests, chest X-ray and echocardiogram. The treatment of atrial fibrillation includes medications, surgery, pacemaker implant, cardioversion or ablation. The medications usually prescribed work as calcium channel blockers, beta blockers, potassium channel blockers and blood thinners. Atrial fibrillation can be prevented by taking healthy diet, lowering alcohol and caffeine consumption, involving exercise in your daily routine and limiting smoking and tobacco consumption.
Many companies are developing drugs for atrial fibrillation which have shown promising result in clinical trials. ARCA Biopharma, Inc. is developing a drug - bucindolol hydrochloride, for the improvement of atrial fibrillation. Bucindolol hydrochloride is a small molecule which acts as a beta-adrenergic receptor antagonists. It is currently in Phase II/III stage of development. Omeicos Therapeutics GmbH is currently developing OMT-28, which is in Phase I clinical trials. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company is developing apixaban for atrial fibrillation patients. It is currently in Phase II/III stage of development and acts as a small molecule that inhibits factor Xa.
Some of the companies having a pipeline of atrial fibrillation therapeutics include Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Bayer AG, ARCA Biopharma, Inc., Omeicos Therapeutics GmbH, AstraZeneca plc, Daiichi Sankyo Company Ltd., Gilead Sciences, Inc., Merck & Co., Inc., Allosteros Therapeutics, Inc.