According to a story from BioPortfolio, the biopharmaceutical company Acceleron Pharma, Inc., recently announced that the Phase 2 trial for its proprietary, investigational product sotatercept. The medication is in development for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension. This rare, long term disease can eventually lead to heart failure. The results of earlier data suggest that sotatercept could be a valuable new treatment option for patients suffering from this dangerous disease.
Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a condition characterized by higher than normal blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs. It can lead to significant strain on the right side of the heart. The cause is not known is many cases, but it can be caused by genetic mutations, the use of certain drugs (ex. methamphetamine), and as a complication of other health problems and diseases. Potential risk factors include HIV/AIDs, sickle cell disease, high altitudes, COPD, cocaine use, sleep apnea, family history, and earlier blood clots in the lungs. Pulmonary arterial hypertension can cause a variety of symptoms, such as rapid heartbeat, swelling in the legs, shortness of breath, fatigue, fainting spells, and chest pain. The illness also makes exercising difficult or impossible, and patients have a significantly reduced life expectancy. The five year survival rate for pulmonary arterial hypertension sits at 57 percent. To learn more about this disease, click here.
There is a clear need for new treatments to become available for patients with this condition, and sotatercept could represent a viable new option. Prior data suggests that sotatercept could work effectively, particularly when used in combination with currently available therapies. Sotatercept has a unique mechanism of action. The drug interacts with the BMP pathway, which has been shown to play a major role in the maintaining the health of blood vessels found in the lungs.
This operating mechanism helps address some of the underlying factors that contribute to pulmonary arterial hypertension; most of the standard-of-care therapies in use today help dilate the pulmonary blood vessels, but fail to address the cause. These treatments fail to significantly halt or slow the progression of the disease.
Acceleron hopes to release the results of the Phase 2 trial in early 2020.