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Bayer: first patient treated for heart failure

( - On Tuesday morning Bayer shares were up in Frankfurt, with the pharmaceutical group announcing the inclusion of its first patient in a clinical study important for the future of its drug portfolio.

At 10.45 a.m., the share price was up 0.7%, one of the strongest risers on a DAX index that was down 0.6% (although it is still trading at its lowest level since 2012).

Bayer today announced that it had enrolled the first patient in a Phase II trial designed to assess the safety and efficacy of its AB-1002 gene therapy for the treatment of heart failure.

The trial, dubbed 'GenePHIT', is designed to enrol between 90 and 150 adults with a left ventricular ejection fraction of between 15% and 35%, who continue to suffer from symptoms despite having been previously treated.

The primary efficacy endpoint at 52 weeks is to be based on favourable changes in a series of factors considered clinically significant.

AB-1002, a gene therapy still in the experimental stage, was developed by Viralgen Vector Core, a subsidiary of AskBio, Bayer's biotechnology division.

Bayer's pharmaceutical division's projects are being closely monitored following the abandonment, last November, of a Phase III clinical trial on a new anticoagulant, on which the market was betting heavily to compensate for the forthcoming expiry of patents.

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