According to a story from Euroinvestor, the drug development company Resverlogix Corp. recently announced that it has received the necessary $2.9 million in funding for a Phase 2 clinical trial that will test the company’s experimental drug apabetalone. This trial will test this investigational product as a therapy for pulmonary arterial hypertension, a rare lung disease. The funding for this project comes from a matching grant awarded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
About Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs is abnormally high. The cause of pulmonary arterial hypertension is often unknown in many cases. However, there are a variety of potential causes, such as certain heritable genetic mutations, exposure to certain toxins, and drug use (ex. methamphetamine). It can also appear as a symptom or complication in a number of other diseases, such as heart disease, connective tissue disease, and infection with HIV. The arteries in the lungs are often inflamed. Symptoms of this condition include rapid heartbeat, poor exercise tolerance, shortness of breath, fainting, leg swelling, fatigue, and chest pain. Treatment may include a number of medications and surgical operations, including lung transplant. A transplant can cure the condition, but it can cause many complications. Survival rate is often only about two or three years without treatment, but the latest drugs can prolong life by several years or more. Click here to learn more about pulmonary arterial hypertension.
Apabetalone has the potential to be useful treatment for pulmonary arterial hypertension. It is an inhibitor of bromodomain and extra-terminal (BET). This mechanism of action has implications in a number of disease states, such as Fabry disease, neurodegenerative disorders, chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
The protein BRD4, which is controlled by BET, is likely to play a role in the progression of pulmonary arterial hypertension based on prior research. Studies of both animal and cellular models of pulmonary arterial hypertension suggest that controlling the activity of BRD4 could potentially halt or reverse the progression of the disease.
The Phase 2 clinical trial is slated to begin after an earlier pilot study, which is scheduled to begin before the latter half of 2019, is completed.