Recurrent Pericarditis Slashed in Drug Trial; Echo in Prone COVID-19; Lipid Gene Editing

Weekly injections of rilonacept, a novel interleukin-1 alpha and beta blocker, reduced recurrent pericarditis by 96% compared with placebo in topline results from the pivotal phase III RHAPSODY trial, Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals announced.

How to do an echo with a COVID-19 patient in the prone position? Clinicians worked out a way to slide a transesophageal probe between the mattress and the patient’s chest wall. (JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging)

Pfizer is suing the Trump administration over rules around planned copay assistance programs for its expensive transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy drug, tafamidis (Vyndaqel). (FiercePharma)

Gene editing may have permanently lowered LDL and triglyceride levels in monkeys. (STAT)

Statins were linked to better COVID-19 survival in findings published in Cell Metabolism. (Cardiovascular Business)

No surprise: researchers found polarized opinions in tweets about statins. (JAMA Network Open)

The SARS-CoV-2 virus (which causes COVID-19), infected heart cells in the lab, proving direct infection. (Cell Reports Medicine)

FDA is looking at sacubitril/valsartan (Entresto) as the potential first drug for heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, with a decision expected in the first half of 2021, Novartis announced.

Three-quarters of people on anticoagulants reported being more cautious about routine activities because of them, according a survey from the National Blood Clot Alliance.

Noridian, which runs the administrative side of Medicare in 12 states, proposed expanding coverage of non-invasive fractional flow reserve (FFR) while excluding coverage of invasive FFR when a non-invasive test is performed first. The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions and industry are against it.

What cardiologists should know about COVID-related concessions for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services quality improvement payment programs is on ACC.org.

The FDA cleared the LUX-Dx Insertable Cardiac Monitor for arrhythmia detection, Boston Scientific announced.

The agency also expanded the indication for Medtronic’s Arctic Front Advance cardiac cryoablation system to symptomatic, recurrent persistent atrial fibrillation unresponsive to drug therapy. (TCTMD)

That approval was based on cryoballoon ablation meeting performance and safety expectations in treating drug-refractory persistent atrial fibrillation (AF) in the STOP Persistent AF trial reported in HeartRhythm.

Late breakers from the virtual VIVA meeting included yet more data on long-term safety of peripheral drug-coated devices as well as Tack balloon angioplasty for dissection in the below-the-knee arteries, the Luminor drug-coated balloon in tibial occlusive disease, and Eluvia in long lesions.

The now-virtual European Society of Cardiology meeting released its lineup of late-breaking clinical trials.

Extreme self-citation by journals to boost their Impact Factor led Clarivate, the company behind the metric, to suppress or flag dozens of journals, including JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging and the Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance. (Retraction Watch)

Cardiac arrhythmias appear elevated during COVID-19 admissions, although it may be a consequence of systemic illness rather than the infection itself, researchers reported in HeartRhythm.

The Heart Failure Society of America released guidelines on virtual visits for heart failure during the pandemic.