Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd recently announced in a press release that data from its Phase III trials on the drugs selexipag (Uptravi) and macitentan (Opsumit) will be presented at the upcoming American Thoracic Society (ATS) 2015 International Conference in Denver, Colorado, May 15 – 20. Both drugs are currently being evaluated for treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension, among other conditions.
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. This disorder may compromise the proper functioning of the lungs and heart, leading to heart failure.
Selexipag is an investigational oral drug currently being tested in a pivotal Phase III GRIPHON trial for pulmonary arterial hypertension. The trial enrolled 1156 participants and showed that selexipag was able to significantly reduce the risk of morbidity/mortality events by 40% in pulmonary arterial hypertension patients. Results of this trial will be presented on May 17 (15:45 – 16:00h) by Dr. Kelly Chin of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. The oral presentation is entitled “Selexipag Prolongs the Time to Morbidity/Mortality Events in Key Subgroup Populations: Results from GRIPHON, a Randomized Controlled Study in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.”
Macitentan is an orally available drug approved for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension. It is currently being tested on 742 patients in a Phase III SERAPHIN study to assessed 46 different potentially prognostic variables of disease outcome. Results will be presented in a poster session on May 20 (09.30-11.30h, Poster Board # 202) by Dr. Marion Delcroix from the University of Leuven, Belgium. The poster is entitled “Prognostic Indicators of Long-Term Outcome in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension: Results from the SERAPHIN Event-Driven Morbidity/Mortality Trial.”
A second poster entitled “Therapeutic Effect of Macitentan, a Novel Dual Endothelin Receptor Antagonist, on Right Ventricular Structure and Function in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertensive Rats” will also be presented on May 17 (11.30-13.15h, Poster Board # P501). Pre-clinical data on macitentan suggests that the drug is not only able to improve pulmonary hemodynamics but also the heart’s right ventricular structure and function in mice models of the disease.
Both Actelion’s selexipag and macitentan have yielded encouraging results in clinical trial studies for the management and treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension.