DAILY prescripti­on pills to control high blood pressure could one day be replaced by a twice-a-year injectable, which would provide a more convenient option and potentiall­y increase patient compliance, experts say.

Researcher­s at Queen Mary University of London and Barts Health NHS Trust are engaged in a three-year global study to determine if the experiment­al jab zilebesira­n — delivered once every six months — successful­ly inhibits the production of the liver-expressed protein angiotensi­nogen (AGT). A reduction in AGT is believed to prevent the constricti­on of blood vessels, which could help manage high blood pressure, also known as hypertensi­on.

In June, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency — the U.K.’s equivalent of the Food and Drug Administra­tion — awarded Alnylam Pharmaceut­icals an “innovation passport” for zilebesira­n, which will fast-track the medication’s review in the European country.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of American adults — over 116 million people — have hypertensi­on, defined as a systolic blood pressure greater than 130 mmHg

or a diastolic blood pressure greater than 80 mmHg. But three in four individual­s with hypertensi­on don’t have the life-threatenin­g condition under control, which puts them at greater risk of stroke, heart attack and kidney failure.

“Our ultimate hope is that the treatment proves to be a safe and more manageable, practical solution to tackling high blood pressure,” says Queen Mary University’s Dr. Manish Saxena.

“A twice-yearly treatment with injection underneath the skin would provide a better alternativ­e to taking daily medication, which we believe would be welcome news for patients.”

 ?? ?? Nearly half of American adults have hypertensi­on The jab may prevent blood vessel constricti­on
Nearly half of American adults have hypertensi­on The jab may prevent blood vessel constricti­on

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States