Two pulmonary arterial hypertension experts will speak to investment professionals at a gathering in New York this week that Arena Pharmaceuticals is holding.
The experts are Dr. Lewis Rubin, an emeritus professor at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, and Dr. Vallerie McLaughlin, the Kim A. Eagle Endowed Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Michigan.
Rubin and McLaughlin will discuss the PAH treatment landscape, needs that have yet to be met, and novel approaches to treating the disease, according to a press release.
Ralinepag is an oral, selective prostacyclin receptor agonist. It is vasodilator, or therapy that widens consticted blood vessels. Constriction makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood through the lungs. Ralinepag also inhibits blood platelet activation that can lead to clots.
Arena is evaluating the effectiveness, safety and tolerability of ralinepag in a Phase 2 clinical trial (NCT02279160) involving 60 PAH patients.
One of the trial’s primary objectives is to see if ralinepag can decrease patients’ pulmonary vascular resistance, or heart blood-vessel constriction. Another is to see whether it can improve patients’ exercise capacity, as assessed by a six-minute walk distance (6MWD) test. Both objectives will be measured after 22 weeks.
Results from the Phase 2 trial are expected in July 2017. Arena will then assess the long-term safety and tolerability of ralinepag’s ability to treat PAH patients with World Health Organization Group 1 PAH scores. Those with Group 1 scores have the fewest functional problems in the five-point WHO scale.
Patients enrolled in the coming open-label study (NCT02279745) must have completed the Phase 2 trials and meet other eligibility criteria.
Rubin is former director of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. He has been a lead researcher in pivotal studies of most of today’s approved PAH therapies.
McLaughlin directs three University of Michigan efforts: the Pulmonary Hypertension Program, the Cardiology Disease Management ACU and the Heart Vessel Blood Clinical Trials Support Unit.
She has been the principal investigator of many clinical trials, has published several scientific articles and book chapters, and is frequently invited to lecture at national and international conferences.
The May 25 gathering is intended for business development professionals, investment bankers, institutional investors, and analysts. You can watch a webcast of the event live, or afterward, by going to the investor relations section of Arena’s website.