Servier was on the up yesterday after the European regulators cleared the way for its blood pressure drug Coversyl (perindopril) to be launched in a new indication – treating patients with stable coronary artery disease – and for a first-in-class new heart-rate lowering drug, Procoralan (ivabradine), in chronic stable angina.

The ACE inhibitor Coversyl has been thrown into the spotlight this week after an overwhelming amount of positive data were unveiled at the European Society of Cardiology meeting in Sweden – showing its benefit alongside Pfizer’s blood pressure drug Norvasc (amlodipine) and its top-selling cholesterol-lowerer Lipitor (atorvastatin) in cutting cardiovascular risk [[05/09/05a]], and showing its ability to prevent heart deterioration in elderly patients [[05/09/05c]].

The approval was based on the results of EUROPA, a 12,000-patient landmark trial showing that Coversyl significantly cut the risk of cardiovascular mortality and non-fatal heart attack by 20% versus placebo. US partners Solvay Pharmaceuticals and CV Therapeutics recently won a US Food and Drug Administration OK to market Coversyl - known as Aceon in this market – for this new indication [[25/08/05d]].

This news will likely be the cherry on the cake for Servier this week, particularly as it has also won the nod from European regulators for Procoralan in treating patients with chronic stable angina and an intolerance to beta-blockers. Procoralan, says Servier, is the first selective If inhibitor and provides and important new approach to the management of angina by exclusively lowering heart rate and being associated with fewer unwanted effects.