According to a story from BioSpace, Martin Pharmaceuticals’ Livantra appears to be on something of a roll. Earlier in the year, the drug received Orphan Drug designation for the treating acute-on-chronic liver failure. Just recently, Livantra earned the designation again for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension. Martin Pharmaceuticals specializes in repurposing drugs that have already gained approval in order to treat rare conditions or diseases that have limited treatment options.
About Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs is abnormally high. In many cases, pulmonary arterial hypertension may appear without a specific cause, but it can also occur as a result of inherited mutations, the use of drugs such as methamphetamine, and alongside other diseases such as HIV/AIDS, congenital heart diseases, and connective tissue disease. Symptoms include fainting, rapid heartbeat, chest pain, leg swelling, and shortness of breath. Treatment may involve a variety of medications as well as surgical procedures including lung transplantation. When untreated, patients on average survive for two or three years, however, chances of long-term survival can improve with sufficient treatment. To learn more about pulmonary arterial hypertension, click here.
About Orphan Drug Designation
Orphan Drug designation is intended to incentivize the development of therapies for rare diseases and only treatments for illnesses that affect less than 200,000 people in the US are eligible under most circumstances. The product must also display the potential to either fulfill a currently unmet medical need or offer substantial advantages in safety and/or effectiveness in comparison to currently available treatments. The designation offers considerable advantages for the recipient company, such as the waiving of certain fees, tax breaks, and a seven year window of market exclusivity if the drug succeeds in gaining approval. This helps guarantee a return on investment for the company.
More Scientifically Backed Therapies Needed
There is a significant need for new treatments for pulmonary arterial hypertension. While there are several effective options available, the scientific data backing their effectiveness is limited at best. Therapies with a more meaningful statistical background can offer patients greater confidence when they seek treatment for their condition. Between 35,000 and 60,000 people are thought to be living with pulmonary arterial hypertension in the US.