Joe and Elsa, atrial fibrillation affects over 2 and a half million Americans and is reaching epidemic proportions. But area researchers and doctors think they may have found the cure.They say their new class of atrial-specific drugs will change the way many cardiologists treat their patients.
"New drugs in this arena don't come along very often and so the worldwide community, we're very excited about the potential of having a new compound," says Dr. Thor Markwood, CNY Cardiology electrophysiologist.
Researchers at the cardiac research institute say they've identified ranolazine and dronedarone as a safe and effective drug combination to manage irregular heartbeat.
"our laboratory were the first to think that the combination of drug can be much more effective in the treatment and probably prevention of atrial fibrillation," says Dr. Serge Sicuri, Masonic Medical Laboratory research scientist.
The executive director of research says this discovery could change millions of people's lives.
"it is a drug that is both safe and effective. This is something that can bring relief to a very large number of individuals in the united states and throughout the world," Dr. Charles Antzelevitch, Masonic Medical Laboratory executive director of research.
And an electrophysiologist at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center says there are even more positive impacts.
"By reducing the burden of anti fibrillation in patients, your talking about reducing hospitalization, saving precious health care dollars, and improving the quality of life of individuals," says Dr. Markwood.
"To be able to treat and possibly cure this arrhythmia is huge as we say here," says Dr. Sicuri.
And Dr. Sicuri says the laboratory makes sure that the medicines you're taking are safe and effective thru pre-clinical trials.
And all the doctors and researchers say this discovery may change the way many cardiologists treat their patients - here in Central New York and around the world
"And those things can be seen locally as well as on a world scale, if this combination proves to be as effective in human beings in clinical trials as it looks like it is lab bench," says Dr. Markwood.
Now the doctors tell me there are 4 phases before a drug makes its way into your medicine cabinet. They say their new class of atrial-specific drugs is in phase 2 and undergoing clinical trials. And they hope the drug will enter phase 3 by September 2013.