March 16, 2010 - Marrying a new blood-pressure-lowering drug to an old one
results in a new drug that works better than either drug alone, a
manufacturer-sponsored clinical trial suggests.
Novartis's AHU377 is a new kind of blood pressure drug called a
vasopeptidase inhibitor. A previous drug in this class, Bristol-Myers Squibb's
omipatrilat, showed great promise but failed because of a dangerous side
AHU377 does not appear to have this side effect. But it's not a very
powerful drug all by itself. However, a new study suggests that it
significantly boosts the effects of Novartis's Diovan, a different kind of
blood pressure drug called an angiotensin II receptor blocker.
The combination of the two types of drug creates a new molecule: an ARNI or
"dual-acting angiotensin II-receptor and neprilysin inhibitor," suggest Luis
Miguel Ruilope, MD, of Hospital 12 October in Madrid, Spain, and
Ruilope and colleagues tested the new drug, code-named LCZ696, in 1,328
adults ages 18 to 75 in 18 nations. Study participants had only
mild-to-moderate high blood pressure: on average, 156/100 (normal blood
pressure is 120/80 or less).
Across all dosages tested, LCZ696 boosted the blood-pressure lowering effect
At the dosage chosen for further clinical trials, 200 milligrams, LCZ696
dropped systolic blood pressure (the top number) by 11 points and diastolic
blood pressure (the bottom number) by 6.14 points. An equivalent dose of Diovan
alone decreased systolic blood pressure by 5.69 points and diastolic blood
pressure by 3.17 points.
Reducing your weight cuts systolic blood pressure by 5 to 20 points per 22
Ruilope, L.M. The Lancet, published online March 16, 2010.
Waeber, B. and Feihl, F. The Lancet, published online March 16,
Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection,
Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure. U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services. NIH Publication No. 03-5231, May 2003.