- An investigational drug called zilebesiran has been found to be safe and effective in lowering systolic blood pressure in people with mild to moderate high blood pressure for up to six months with a single injection.
- More than one billion people worldwide have high blood pressure. Hypertension places a person at higher risk for various health problems throughout the body.
- Many people have trouble complying with high blood pressure medication prescriptions, leaving them exposed to the risks associated with uncontrolled hypertension.
An investigational drug called
These findings from the drug’s Phase 2 clinical trial were recently presented at the American Heart Association’s 2023 Scientific Sessions.
Previous studies show that having high blood pressure increases a person’s risk of various cardiovascular problems, such as stroke, heart failure, and atrial fibrillation.
Additionally, people with hypertension are more likely to
High blood pressure is
However, previous research shows that not all people with high blood pressure adhere to prescribed medication, and many
According to Dr. George L. Bakris, professor of medicine and director of the American Heart Association Comprehensive Hypertension Center at the University of Chicago Medicine and senior author of this study, more than 70% of people with hypertension do not take their medications or they don’t. not taking them as prescribed.
“Therefore, we have less than 30% of people with controlled hypertension in the country,” Dr. Bakris said. Medical news today. “This is despite the fact that we have more than 100 antihypertensive medications to use.”
Dr. Cheng-Han Chen, a board-certified interventional cardiologist and medical director of the Structural Heart Program at MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center in Laguna Hills, California, who was not involved in this study, agreed:
“It is believed that a large percentage of patients do not take their blood pressure medications as prescribed. When patients are not fully compliant with their medication regimen, the chances increase that their blood pressure will not be under control, which in turn increases the risk of suffering a cardiovascular event.
A big problem is simply the large number of prescription medications that patients must follow, some of which must be taken several times a day.”
Dr. Jennifer Wong, board-certified cardiologist and medical director of Noninvasive Cardiology at MemorialCare Heart and Vascular Institute at Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, CA, told MNT that she has found that adherence to high blood pressure medications can be difficult. with any daily medication that does not have an immediate tangible effect.
“Uncontrolled hypertension is a major risk factor for developing atherosclerotic diseases,” continued Dr. Wong. “And it’s often such a future event that many patients find it difficult to take… medications regularly. “Every 10 mm drop in blood pressure can significantly reduce the risk of these diseases.”
Zilebesiran is an investigational RNA interference agent directed at
“Zilebesiran blocks the message inside the cell that stimulates (the) production of a substance called angiotensinogen,” Dr. Bakris explained. “This is the substance that is transformed into
“Angiotensin II has many purposes but, in excess, it can raise blood pressure,” he added. “Therefore, blocking its production reduces the likelihood of blood pressure elevation and will reduce pre-existing high blood pressure.”
For this study, Dr. Bakris and his team recruited about 400 people with mild to moderate high blood pressure, defined as systolic blood pressure of 135 to 160 mm Hg. None of the participants received treatment for high blood pressure or received stable therapy with up to two antihypertensive medications.
Study participants received doses of 150 mg, 300 mg, or 600 mg once every six months, a 300 mg dose once every three months of zilebesiran, or a placebo.
After six months, the researchers found that participants who received zilebesiran were significantly more likely to experience average systolic blood pressure reductions of 20 mm Hg or more in 24 hours without needing to take additional high blood pressure medications.
Study participants taking zilebesiran were also more likely to achieve average 24-hour systolic blood pressure measurements of 130 mm Hg or less at six months.
“I was pleasantly surprised that the effect lasted six months, but based on what I knew about the drug, I expected three months. Also, I was not expecting the magnitude of the drop to be as large as 14-15 mm Hg, but rather 7-8 mm Hg, which is what the pills produce. But again, zilebesiran blocks the system more effectively.”
– Dr. George L. Bakris
After reviewing this research, Dr. Ian del Conde, cardiologist and director of vascular medicine at Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute, part of Baptist Health South Florida, said TMN This is an interesting study that marks a new era in the treatment of high blood pressure.
“I don’t think most doctors anticipated a therapy like this just a few years ago,” Dr. del Conde continued. “The idea that a chronic disease that is extremely prevalent in all societies around the world and that has been clearly shown to increase the risk of premature death can be treated effectively and safely with a single injection given approximately every six months is a point. of inflection. ”
“[D]Despite the availability of several classes of blood pressure lowering medications that are effective, safe and expensive, there are still many patients who do not have our code for pressure control. Adherence or tolerance to standard therapies is a common cause of uncontrolled blood pressure. “This new treatment may change the way we treat high blood pressure in the future.”
Prof Sir Nilesh Samani, medical director of the British Heart Foundation, also reviewed the study and said TMN:
“This study shows that an injection that could be given as little as twice a year is effective in lowering blood pressure. “More work is needed to prove it reduces heart attacks and strokes, but if this is the case then it could be a revolutionary new treatment for high blood pressure.”
Dr. Chen said TMN that doctors currently have no effective blood pressure medication for that long after a single dose.
“This type of dosing interval gives us a tool to improve blood pressure over a long period of time without having to rely on consistent daily medication compliance,” he added.
“This drug significantly reduced systolic blood pressure (by) at least 10 mm Hg on average and sometimes 20 mm Hg or more on average,” Dr. Chen continued. “Since the average systolic blood pressure at the start of this study was 142 mmHg, this meant that a patient’s blood pressure could be brought to a ‘normal’ range simply with this injection, without the aid of additional blood pressure medications. “.