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      Riociguat: a soluble guanylate cyclase stimulator for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension

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          Abstract

          Despite advances in treatments and improved survival, patients with pulmonary hypertension still experience poor exercise and functional capacity, which has a significant detrimental impact on their quality of life. The nitric oxide (NO)–soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC)–cyclic guanosine 3′,5′-monophosphate (cGMP) pathway has been shown to play an important role in cardiovascular physiology, especially in vasodilation and pulmonary vascular tone. The oral sGC stimulator riociguat has a dual mode of action on the NO–sGC–cGMP pathway: direct stimulation of sGC independent of NO and indirect simulation via sensitization of sGC to endogenous NO. Riociguat is now licensed in >50 countries worldwide, including in Europe, the USA, Canada, and Japan. Approval for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) was based on Phase III data from the PATENT studies, in which riociguat significantly improved exercise capacity, pulmonary vascular resistance, a range of secondary end points, and hemodynamic parameters in patients with symptomatic PAH. In the Phase III CHEST studies, riociguat consistently improved exercise capacity in patients with inoperable chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) or persistent/recurrent CTEPH after pulmonary endarterectomy and is now the only drug to be approved for this indication. Riociguat was well tolerated in long-term studies of PAH and CTEPH. This review describes the role of the NO–sGC–cGMP pathway in the pathophysiology of pulmonary hypertension, and reviews the clinical efficacy and safety of riociguat in patients with PAH and inoperable or persistent/recurrent CTEPH. Based on its demonstrated efficacy and established safety profile, riociguat is a promising treatment option for patients with PAH and CTEPH.

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          Most cited references 69

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          Survival in patients with primary pulmonary hypertension. Results from a national prospective registry.

          To characterize mortality in persons diagnosed with primary pulmonary hypertension and to investigate factors associated with survival. Registry with prospective follow-up. Thirty-two clinical centers in the United States participating in the Patient Registry for the Characterization of Primary Pulmonary Hypertension supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Patients (194) diagnosed at clinical centers between 1 July 1981 and 31 December 1985 and followed through 8 August 1988. At diagnosis, measurements of hemodynamic variables, pulmonary function, and gas exchange variables were taken in addition to information on demographic variables, medical history, and life-style. Patients were followed for survival at 6-month intervals. The estimated median survival of these patients was 2.8 years (95% Cl, 1.9 to 3.7 years). Estimated single-year survival rates were as follows: at 1 year, 68% (Cl, 61% to 75%); at 3 years, 48% (Cl, 41% to 55%); and at 5 years, 34% (Cl, 24% to 44%). Variables associated with poor survival included a New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class of III or IV, presence of Raynaud phenomenon, elevated mean right atrial pressure, elevated mean pulmonary artery pressure, decreased cardiac index, and decreased diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (DLCO). Drug therapy at entry or discharge was not associated with survival duration. Mortality was most closely associated with right ventricular hemodynamic function and can be characterized by means of an equation using three variables: mean pulmonary artery pressure, mean right atrial pressure, and cardiac index. Such an equation, once validated prospectively, could be used as an adjunct in planning treatment strategies and allocating medical resources.
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            A comparison of continuous intravenous epoprostenol (prostacyclin) with conventional therapy for primary pulmonary hypertension.

            Primary pulmonary hypertension is a progressive disease for which no treatment has been shown in a prospective, randomized trial to improve survival. We conducted a 12-week prospective, randomized, multicenter open trial comparing the effects of the continuous intravenous infusion of epoprostenol (formerly called prostacyclin) plus conventional therapy with those of conventional therapy alone in 81 patients with severe primary pulmonary hypertension (New York Heart Association functional class III or IV). Exercise capacity was improved in the 41 patients treated with epoprostenol (median distance walked in six minutes, 362 m at 12 weeks vs. 315 m at base line), but it decreased in the 40 patients treated with conventional therapy alone (204 m at 12 weeks vs. 270 m at base line; P < 0.002 for the comparison of the treatment groups). Indexes of the quality of life were improved only in the epoprostenol group (P < 0.01). Hemodynamics improved at 12 weeks in the epoprostenol-treated patients. The changes in mean pulmonary-artery pressure for the epoprostenol and control groups were -8 percent and +3 percent, respectively (difference in mean change, -6.7 mm Hg; 95 percent confidence interval, -10.7 to -2.6 mm Hg; P < 0.002), and the mean changes in pulmonary vascular resistance for the epoprostenol and control groups were -21 percent and +9 percent, respectively (difference in mean change, -4.9 mm Hg/liter/min; 95 percent confidence interval, -7.6 to -2.3 mm Hg/liter/min; P < 0.001). Eight patients died during the study, all of whom had been randomly assigned to conventional therapy (P = 0.003). Serious complications included four episodes of catheter-related sepsis and one thrombotic event. As compared with conventional therapy, the continuous intravenous infusion of epoprostenol produced symptomatic and hemodynamic improvement, as well as improved survival in patients with severe primary pulmonary hypertension.
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              Ambrisentan for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension: results of the ambrisentan in pulmonary arterial hypertension, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter, efficacy (ARIES) study 1 and 2.

              Ambrisentan is a propanoic acid-based, A-selective endothelin receptor antagonist for the once-daily treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension. Ambrisentan in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Multicenter, Efficacy Study 1 and 2 (ARIES-1 and ARIES-2) were concurrent, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies that randomized 202 and 192 patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension, respectively, to placebo or ambrisentan (ARIES-1, 5 or 10 mg; ARIES-2, 2.5 or 5 mg) orally once daily for 12 weeks. The primary end point for each study was change in 6-minute walk distance from baseline to week 12. Clinical worsening, World Health Organization functional class, Short Form-36 Health Survey score, Borg dyspnea score, and B-type natriuretic peptide plasma concentrations also were assessed. In addition, a long-term extension study was performed. The 6-minute walk distance increased in all ambrisentan groups; mean placebo-corrected treatment effects were 31 m (P=0.008) and 51 m (P 3 times the upper limit of normal. In 280 patients completing 48 weeks of treatment with ambrisentan monotherapy, the improvement from baseline in 6-minute walk at 48 weeks was 39 m. Ambrisentan improves exercise capacity in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension. Improvements were observed for several secondary end points in each of the studies, although statistical significance was more variable. Ambrisentan is well tolerated and is associated with a low risk of aminotransferase abnormalities.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                1177-8881
                2017
                13 April 2017
                : 11
                : 1195-1207
                Affiliations
                State Key Laboratory of Cardiovascular Disease, Fuwai Hospital, National Center for Cardiovascular Diseases, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, People’s Republic of China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Zhi-Cheng Jing, State Key Laboratory of Cardiovascular Disease, Fuwai Hospital, National Center for Cardiovascular Diseases, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, No 167, Beilishi Road, West District, Beijing 100037, People’s Republic of China, Tel +86 10 8839 6018, Fax +86 10 8839 6016, Email jingzhicheng@ 123456vip.163.com
                Article
                dddt-11-1195
                10.2147/DDDT.S117277
                5402909
                © 2017 Lian et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Categories
                Review

                Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical medicine

                sgc stimulator, riociguat, pulmonary hypertension, pah, cteph

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