New Data on Actelion Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Drugs Selexipag and Macitentan in Upcoming Congress

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Pulmonary Hypertension Causes

Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd recently announced in a press release that new data on its investigational drug selexipag (Uptravi®) and the approved macitentan (Opsumit®) for pulmonary arterial hypertension will be presented at the upcoming European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress in London, United Kingdom, August 29 to September 2, 2015.

Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a life-threatening cardiopulmonary disorder characterized by an abnormally high blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries that supply blood to the lungs. The disease may compromise the proper functioning of the lungs and heart, leading to difficulties in breathing, right-sided heart failure and eventually death. There is an urgent need for treatment strategies for this disease.

Selexipag is an investigational oral drug for pulmonary arterial hypertension that is currently being tested in a pivotal Phase III trial involving a total of 1,156 patients. The poster to be presented at the ESC 2015 Congress is entitled “Effect of selexipag on long-term outcomes in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) receiving one, two or no PAH therapies at baseline: results from the GRIPHON study (P2365), and will be presented on August 30. The poster abstract can be accessed in the following link.

Researchers found that selexipag was able to significantly reduce the risk of morbidity/mortality events by 40% in pulmonary arterial hypertension patients, and that the combination of selexipag with other pulmonary arterial hypertension therapies [namely endothelin receptor antagonist (ERA) and phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor (PDE5i)] offers a clinical benefit for patients.

Data on macitentan, an orally available drug approved for the long-term treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension, will also be presented on August 30 in a poster entitled “’Lack of pharmacokinetic interaction between the dual endothelin receptor antagonist macitentan and the combined oral contraceptive, norethisterone and ethinyl estradiol” (P2645). The poster abstract can be found in the following link.

In vitro studies have suggested that macitentan could interfere with a molecule that can affect the efficacy of hormonal contraceptives. Based on this observation, researchers analyzed whether macitentan therapy could have an effect on the pharmacokinetics of a hormonal contraceptive combination of ethinyl estradiol and norethisterone. The team found that co-administration of macitentan did not interfere with the efficacy and safety of combined oral contraceptives, an important aspect for women under pulmonary hypertension treatment with macitentan.

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Patrícia holds her PhD in Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases from the Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden, The Netherlands. She has studied Applied Biology at Universidade do Minho and was a postdoctoral research fellow at Instituto de Medicina Molecular in Lisbon, Portugal. Her work has been focused on molecular genetic traits of infectious agents such as viruses and parasites.
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