Salim Shah
Salim ShahSalim Shah

Sarfez Pharmaceuticals, a company founded by Indian American scientist Salim Shah, has developed a new drug to treat people suffering from heart failure, that is awaiting approval from the US Food and Drug Administration. The New Drug Application for SoanzXR is likely to be decided by mid-January 2020.

SoanzXR, a once-a-day extended release formulation of torsemide, is effective in reducing volume overload and blood pressure, said the company. Torasemide is used to treat high blood pressure and fluid overload in cases of heart failure, kidney disease and liver disease.

If approved, it will be the first and only long acting loop diuretic in the form of water pill to deliver drug at a slower pace for most of the day to treat volume overload caused by heart failure and chronic kidney disease, said the company. SoanzXR also offers improved treatment options for people with chronic kidney disease, liver cirrhosis with ascites, and hypertension, said the pharma developing company.

Explaining it further, Salim Shah, founder and chairman of Sarfez, said: "SoanzXR will be the first long-release drug to treat heart failure, chronic kidney disease, and uncontrolled hypertension patients, greatly improving quality of life and hopefully reducing hospitalization time for chronic congestive heart failure patients."

SoanzXR is unique due to its longer duration compared to currently available loop diuretics in the market which have a very short duration of action, and as a result, most patient remain volume overloaded requiring repeat hospitalization. Moreover, the oral extended-release tablet induces gradual and sustained urination, reducing the need for frequent urination, noted the company.

"The company has benefited from grants from the Small Business Administration and the National Institute of Health to develop SoanzXR," said Shah, assuring to "transfer these benefits to patients by selling the drug at reasonable prices."

Last year, Shah's another firm Hingez Pharma received a grant of more than $1.8 million from the National Institutes of Health to develop a drug to treat high cholesterol, which is likely to undergo clinical trials in two years.

Salil Shah, who received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from JNU, New Delhi, formed Hingez Pharma in the US and is now specializing in developing drugs.