Patients suffering from chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) or recurrent CTEPH in Wales now have access to Bayer’s therapy Adempas (riociguat) — a soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) stimulator that works by relaxing blood vessels and increasing the supply of blood to the lungs, which helps reduce the workload of the heart. The All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG) is supporting the treatment on the National Health Service as an effective oral treatment of inoperable CTEPH or recurrent CTEPH in adult patients, to be administered after surgery, in order to enhance exercise capacity.
While CTEPH is commonly addressed through surgery, a significant number of patients cannot undergo these surgical procedures, and as much as 10%-15% of those who have had surgery experience a recurrence of pulmonary hypertension. Adempas is first in its drug class, and is currently the only orally available treatment approved for CTEPH and PAH, which comprises over 60% of the United Kingdom’s PH population sub-groups.
This decision from the AWMSG marks the completion of CTEPH recommendations in the United Kingdom, which closely followed the similarly favorable decision made by the Scottish Medicines Consortium and NHS England, which according to Bayer further promotes a large-scale awareness of pulmonary hypertension and its management.
Further, the AWMSG recommends Adempas as a treatment option for adult patients suffering from pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) to boost exercise capacity. Similar to CTEPH, PAH also causes blood vessel narrowing, heart overload, and limited exercise capacity, and treatment is also not guaranteed by surgical procedures.
In other recent CTEPH news, researchers at University of California, San Diego (UCSD), published findings in the journal Pulmonary Circulation revealing the prevalence of specific collateral arteries in patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH). The study is entitled “Prevalence of coronary artery-pulmonary artery collaterals in patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension.”
Collateral vessels are a distinctive feature of CTEPH. Bronchopulmonary collateral vessels in particular have been suggested to be a CTEPH biomarker and useful as an auxiliary prognostic indicator for the condition. Coronary artery-to-pulmonary artery collaterals have also been observed in patients with cardiac and/or respiratory conditions but not in CTEPH patients.