New blood pressure injection could make daily tablets for high blood pressure redundant

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A groundbreaking medical breakthrough could make high blood pressure tablets a relic of the past.

The results of a trial for a new blood pressure injection, called zilebesiran, have been published by American developer Alnylam. The new drug, which can be given to patients once every six months, is in the first phase of study.

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Trial results indicate that patients saw a significant decrease in blood pressure which remained for six months, meaning patients would only need two injections each year rather than taking tablets every day.

One in three UK adults have high blood pressure. (Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Radar)One in three UK adults have high blood pressure. (Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Radar)
One in three UK adults have high blood pressure. (Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Radar) | Anthony Devlin/PA Radar

Lead author Akshay Desai MD said: "Hypertension is the leading cause of premature death, cardiovascular disease, and chronic kidney disease worldwide, and the global prevalence is steadily increasing in parallel with population aging and secular trends in the prevalence of risk factors including obesity, physical inactivity, and unhealthy diet.

"Despite the availability of effective antihypertensive treatments, nearly half of patients with hypertension fail to achieve guideline-recommended blood pressure targets, leaving them at residual risk for myocardial infarction, stroke, kidney disease progression, and mortality.

"This novel approach may provide durable, tonic blood pressure control with infrequent, office-based dosing and a favorable safety profile. Additional clinical trials will provide further insights into the potential of this approach to improve clinical outcomes in the growing population of patients with hypertension.”

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Simon Fox PHD, VP zilebesiran program lead at Alnylam, added: "The data published in NEJM suggest the potential for zilebesiran to be an effective and highly-differentiated treatment that may help people with hypertension achieve sustained blood pressure control.

"To that end, we are currently evaluating the safety and efficacy of zilebesiran in our phase two clinical program either as a monotherapy or in combination with a standard-of-care antihypertensive medication, and we look forward to reporting results from these programs in mid- and late 2023, respectively.”

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