Calcific aortic valve disease (CAVD) is a major contributor to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality and, given its association with age, the prevalence of CAVD is expected to continue to rise as global life expectancy increases. No drug strategies currently exist to prevent or treat CAVD. Given that valve replacement is the only available clinical option, patients often cope with a deteriorating quality of life until diminished valve function demands intervention. The recognition that CAVD results from active cellular mechanisms suggests that the underlying pathways might be targeted to treat the condition. However, no such therapeutic strategy has been successfully developed to date. One hope was that drugs already used to treat vascular complications might also improve CAVD outcomes, but the mechanisms of CAVD progression and the desired therapeutic outcomes are often different from those of vascular diseases. Therefore, we discuss the benchmarks that must be met by a CAVD treatment approach, and highlight advances in the understanding of CAVD mechanisms to identify potential novel therapeutic targets.