Clinical studies by experts in San Francisco and at Hull University have found a new drug that could mend broken hearts, offering hope to hundreds of thousands of heart failure patients.
Cardiac muscles are weakened, generally after a heart attack, and the sufferers may often feel breathless and exhausted, and can find simple, everyday tasks such as eating, dressing and getting out of bed an ordeal, reports the Daily Express.
Treatments range from pills to transplants. But as up to 40 percent of sufferers die within a year of diagnosis, the condition has a worse survival rate than many cancers.
However, the clinical studies have shown that the drug omecamtiv mecarbil can boost muscles in the heart that pump blood around the body.
It stimulates a protein that helps the organ to contract more strongly, easily and frequently, without the potentially dangerous side effects of other heart drugs.