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BOEHRINGER MANNHEIM PHARMACEUTICALS CORPORATION TO MARKET NEW MEDCO HEART DRUG; AGENT COMBINES TWO VASODILATORS

 ROCKVILLE, Md., Nov. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Boehringer Mannheim Pharmaceuticals Corporation (BMPC) announced today an agreement to market a new combination drug developed by Medco Research, Inc. (AMEX: MRE), to treat congestive heart failure (CHF).
 Under a new licensing agreement, BMPC will distribute, market and sell BIDIL(TM) in North America.
 BIDIL is a patent protected combination of two currently available vasodilators, hydralazine and isosorbide dinitrate (ISDN), in a single agent. In major clinical studies of CHF patients, combined dosing of the drugs reduced mortality and improved cardiac function. Although the two drugs are commonly used together to treat CHF patients, neither has yet been approved for the condition.
 Medco plans to file a New Drug Application (NDA) for BIDIL with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1993. The company retains responsibility for the drug's clinical studies, government approvals and manufacturing.
 "By combining hydralazine and isosorbide," says Ted Wood, BMPC president, "BIDIL will deliver the therapeutic benefits of both drugs in a convenient form. A series of fixed-dose BIDIL tablets will eliminate any confusion on dosing by providing the drugs in ratios used in the clinical trials that established the combined dosing's mortality reduction and therapeutic effectiveness."
 The two agents effectively treat CHF because they improve blood flow in different blood vessels. Hydralazine widens arteries, easing blood flow from the heart so that it doesn't have to pump as hard; ISDN widens veins, improving blood flow to the heart and preventing fluid buildup in it.
 Standard CHF therapy now consists of either diuretics, digitalis or ACE inhibitors -- with the most severe CHF patients receiving all three therapies. However, an estimated 20 percent to 30 percent of CHF patients -- from 680,000 to more than a million patients annually -- do not respond favorably to these drugs, particularly ACE inhibitors. For these patients, vasodilator therapy with hydralazine and ISDN has become standard CHF treatment.
 Two landmark, multi-center clinical studies -- the first and second Veterans Administration Heart Failure Trials (VHeFT-1 and VHeFT-2) -- have shown the effectiveness of combining the two drugs to treat CHF. In VHeFT-1, the combination of hydralazine and ISDN reduced mortality in cases of mild to moderate CHF, when added to the standard regimen of digitalis and diuretics. In VHeFT-2, the combination again improved survival, as well as the heart's exercise capacity and pumping function, although to a lesser extent than the ACE inhibitor enalapril. However, the combination of hydralazine and ISDN improved exercise capacity and pumping function of the heart to a greater extent than enalapril alone, leading the investigators to conclude that all three drugs may be complementary.
 Boehringer Mannheim Pharmaceuticals Corporation, based in Rockville, is part of Boehringer Mannheim - Therapeutics, a division of the Bermuda-based Corange Ltd. Corange is a global $3.2 billion leader in healthcare. BMPC is committed to developing and marketing important new therapies for cardiovascular, metabolic and oncologic diseases in North America.
 Medco Research, Inc., is a pharmaceutical company engaged in the acquisition, research and development of new prescription products for the diagnosis or treatment of certain cardiovascular diseases and cancer. It is headquartered in Research Triangle Park, N.C.
 -0- 11/9/93
 /CONTACT: Charlotte Dexter of Corange, in London, +44-71-355-1500; John Bruens of BMPC, 301-216-3068; or Roger Blevins of Medco, 919-549-8117/
 (MRE)


CO: Boehringer Mannheim Pharmaceuticals Corporation;
 Medco Research, Inc. ST: Maryland, North Carolina IN: MTC HEA SU:


CK-GK -- NY088 -- 2344 11/09/93 14:32 EST
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Date:Nov 9, 1993
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