Actelion BioPharmaceuticals recently announced that the company will be releasing important data from its Phase III GRIPHON study testing the efficacy and tolerability of their pipeline drug selexipag (Uptravi®) for the treatment of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) at the European Respiratory Society (ERS) Congress in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
The presentation, entitled “Effect of selexipag on long-term outcomes in key subgroups of patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH): GRIPHON study results” is scheduled to be delivered by Professor Olivier Sitbon from the Hospital Le Kremlin Bicêtre, Paris, France, at 11:15 local time on the 30th of September.
This is the second major presentation on selexipag in 2015. In March, Actelion presented long-term results from the GRIPHON trial at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Congress in San Diego, CA. At the time, the company reported that, compared to placebo, selexipag significantly decreased the risk of a morbidity/mortality events related to pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in 40% of test subjects.
In late 2014, the company also submitted a Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) for selexipag to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) as a new therapeutic for pulmonary arterial hypertension.
Selexipag, originally discovered and synthesized by Nippon Shinyaku, is a potent, orally available, selective IP prostacyclin receptor agonist. The therapy selectively targets the prostacyclin receptor (also called IP-receptor). The IP receptor is one of 5 types of prostanoid receptor. Prostacyclin activates the IP receptor inducing vasodilation and inhibiting proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells. Selexipag, unlike prostacyclin analogs, is selective for the IP receptor over other prostanoid receptors. In preclinical models selective IP receptor agonism has shown to maintain efficacy and reduce the risk of side effects mediated by activation of other prostanoid receptors, such as EP1 and EP3 receptors. [1,2,3]
Apart from this, the ERS Congress will also host a presentation on another one of Actelion’s pipeline drugs, macitentan (Opsumit®), in a poster session titled “Pharmacokinetics and safety of concomitant macitentan and hormonal contraceptives.” The poster is scheduled to be presented in a poster discussion session by Dr Noémie Hurst from 10.45 a.m. local time, on the 28th of September.