Perth Researchers Behind Ground-Breaking New Treatment for High Blood Pressure
A team of West Australian researchers have tested a ground-breaking new treatment for those with high-blood pressure, one of the world’s leading causes of death, thanks to the support of the Royal Perth Hospital Research Foundation.
Chair in Clinical Research at the Dobney Hypertension Centre Professor Markus Schlaich, from The University of Western Australia’s Medical School, was in the US last week presenting positive findings from the Phase 3 PRECISION trial, looking at a new drug targeting treatment-resistant hypertension.
“The trial tested a new drug – aprocitentan – which blocks the effects of endothelin, a very potent constrictor of blood vessels. After four weeks of treatment, we found a clinically meaningful lowering of both office and 24-hour out-of-office blood pressure in patients with treatment-resistant hypertension,” Professor Schlaich says.
“Importantly, the effects were sustained for 48 weeks.”
“For decades, healthcare providers have been challenged to help their patients with resistant hypertension achieve better blood pressure control. The Phase 3 PRECISION study is a significant breakthrough as a promising new therapeutic approach.”
The trial also reported no unexpected safety signals, with the main adverse event being oedema (fluid retention), which can usually be managed with additional diuretic therapy.
Hypertension is the biggest single killer world-wide, with an estimated 10 million deaths a year directly attributable to uncontrolled blood pressure.
More than 30% of adult Australians are affected by high blood pressure, and while many are successfully treated with currently available therapies, a significant proportion are categorised as having treatment-resistant hypertension.
The ground-breaking research was made possible with the ongoing support from the RPH Research Foundation, which has a long-standing partnership with the Dobney Hypertension Centre, and provides in-house facilities in their research hub on the Royal Perth Hospital Campus.
RPH Research Foundation Chair, Professor Lyn Beazley AO, says it’s an exciting development.
“We know the significant health impacts of hypertension, and the importance of being able to offer a potential new treatment for those patients who have been treatment-resistant,” Professor Beazley says.
“The results of the Phase 3 trial are very promising, and highlight the importance of supporting the brilliant scientific researchers we have here in Western Australia.”
“The RPH Research Foundation is thrilled to have played a role in developing a potential new treatment for this condition.”
"They are passionate about providing support and grant funding to the State’s best minds, to allow them to transform innovative ideas and research into life-changing clinical treatments."
“As WA’s former Chief Scientist, I am acutely aware of the impact of medical advances, which simply wouldn’t be possible without medical research. I’m always in awe of what can be delivered when you invest in people with the passion and purpose to improve health outcomes.”
Click below to watch Markus' presentation on this topic, media coverage, or read the publication of this ground-breaking research.