Perth researchers behind a revolutionary new treatment for high blood pressure


A team of researchers from Western Australia have tested a revolutionary new treatment for people with high blood pressure, one of the world’s leading causes of death, with support from the famed Royal Perth Hospital Research Foundation.

Clinical Research Chair at the Dobney Hypertension Center, Professor Markus Schlaich, from the UWA School of Medicine, traveled to the United States to present the positive results of the phase 3 PRECISION trial, involving 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,” Professor Schlaich said.

“After four weeks of treatment, we found a clinically significant drop in 24-hour in-office and out-of-office blood pressure in patients with treatment-resistant hypertension. Importantly, the effects were maintained 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 edema (fluid retention), which can usually be managed with additional diuretic therapy.

Hypertension is the largest cause of death worldwide, with approximately 10 million deaths per year directly attributable to uncontrolled blood pressure.

Over 30% of adult Australians are affected by high blood pressure, and although many are successfully treated with currently available therapies, a significant proportion are classified as having treatment-resistant hypertension.

The groundbreaking research has been made possible through the continued support of the RPH Research Foundation, which has a long-standing partnership with the Dobney Hypertension Center and provides in-house facilities at their research center on the Royal Perth Hospital campus.

The president of the RPH Research Foundation, Professor Lyn Beazley AO, said this was an exciting development.

“We know the significant health impacts of hypertension and the importance of being able to offer a potential new treatment to patients who have resisted treatment,” Professor Beazley said.

“The Phase 3 trial results are very promising and underscore the importance of supporting the brilliant research scientists we have here in Western Australia.

“The RPH Research Foundation is delighted to have played a role in the development of a potential new treatment for this disease.”

Professor Beazley says the foundation is passionate about supporting and funding the best minds in the state, to enable them to turn innovative ideas and research into life-changing clinical treatments.

“As the former chief scientist of WA, I am acutely aware of the impact of medical advancements, which simply wouldn’t be possible without medical research,” she said. “I am always impressed with what can be achieved when you invest in people who are passionate and committed to improving health outcomes.”


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