A new medication called Baxdrostat has been shown to significantly lower high blood pressure (hypertension) in patients who may not respond to current treatments for the condition, according to findings from a phase II trial conducted by a researcher from Queen Mary University of London and associates at CinCor Pharma, USA.
The trial findings reflect the first time that a long-needed new class of drugs to treat resistant hypertension has been successfully developed and tested. They were presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions conference and published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
During the 12-week study, 248 individuals were given either a placebo or a once-daily dose of Baxdrostat at various doses. Despite taking three or more blood pressure drugs at the time of trial entry, none of these patients’ blood pressure was under control. Baxdrostat was given to the patient in addition to his or her normal meds in dosages ranging from 2 mg to 1 mg to 0.5 mg.
At the end of the 12-week period, the group that received the most Baxdrostat saw a 20-point drop in blood pressure. An 11-point difference between this group and the placebo-treated group was a seldom reported differential in any single blood pressure-lowering medicine.
Baxdrostat works by preventing the body from manufacturing aldosterone, a hormone that regulates the body’s salt levels. Baxdrostat lowered aldosterone levels in the blood and urine. According to the study, this form of hypertension is caused in part by an excess of the hormone aldosterone and leads in a considerable reduction in blood pressure in individuals with resistant hypertension to standard therapy.
The difficulty in developing such a drug has been connecting the enzyme that makes aldosterone to another enzyme that also creates cortisol, a critical steroid hormone.
“The results of this first-of-its-kind drug are exciting, although more testing is required before we can draw comparisons with any existing medications,” said Professor Morris Brown, co-senior author of the study and Professor of Endocrine Hypertension at Queen Mary University of London.
“The success of earlier medications in individual individuals can vary significantly, but a feature of this new class is that it can be anticipated to operate well in people whose aldosterone hormone has made them resistant to prior therapies.”
High blood pressure is the leading cause of strokes, heart attacks, and renal failure. Because the aetiology is unknown, the majority of persons who have the disorder require lifelong pharmaceutical therapy.
High blood pressure affects one-third of individuals in the UK, making it one of the most common illnesses among adults. In recent years, it has been discovered that a gene mutation in the adrenal glands causes the overproduction of the steroid hormone aldosterone in 5-10% of persons who have it. This might affect over 500,000 individuals in the United Kingdom.
Aldosterone causes the body to retain salt, raising blood pressure.
Patients with high aldosterone levels in their blood are resistant to the most commonly administered hypertension medicines.
Professor Brown has worked directly on the medicine for almost 10 years, providing assistance on both the Baxdrostat study in the United States and the product’s previous development. He worked closely with both the pharmaceutical corporations that developed the drug and the start-ups that secured the licence.