A new injection is set to ‘revolutionise’ the lives of millions of people with persistent high blood pressure as it could scrap the need for daily tablets, a new study has demonstrated.
People with hypertension will soon have the opportunity to be jabbed with the drug ‘zilebesiran’ once every six months instead of taking pills every day to treat the condition, researchers have said.
More than 100 adults with persistent high blood pressure participated in the study, which took place at four sites in the UK.
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During the clinical trials, roughly 80 participants were injected with zilebesiran while more than 30 of the group received a placebo containing no active ingredients.
Those who were injected with zilebesiran saw their blood pressure drop for approximately six months.
According to the results, systolic blood pressure lowered by over 10mmHg at a 200mg dose or more of the drug, and more than 20mmHg at the highest dose of 800mg.
Zilebesiran stops the production of angiotensin – a protein hormone that causes blood vessels to become narrower, which can cause high blood pressure.
The study authors said: “Overall, these preliminary data support the potential for further study of quarterly or twice-yearly administration of zilebesiran as a treatment for patients with hypertension.”
Roughly 30% of Brits and nearly 50% of Americans have persistent high blood pressure, international data reveals.
Most people with hypertension struggle to control their blood pressure as often they do not take all of their prescribed medication.
Experts believe that good blood pressure management can prevent stroke, heart attack and early death.
Chief author Professor David Webb said: “This is a potentially major development in hypertension.
“There has not been a new class of drug licensed for the treatment of high blood pressure in the last 17 years.”
He added: “This novel approach leads to a substantial reduction in blood pressure, both by day and night, that lasts for around six months after a single injection.
“This is attractive because it helps avoid the difficulty with adherence to treatment seen with current medicines.”
He concluded: “The next stage of clinical trials will focus on developing robust safety data, and broader evidence of efficacy, before zilebesiran can be licensed for use.”
“The data we have published is exciting, suggesting the potential role for zilebesiran to treat hypertension in a novel way.”
The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine and can be read here.