The European Commission (EC) has approved Novartis’ triple combination drug Rasitrio as a treatment for high blood pressure.
Rasitrio, the first combination of aliskiren, amlodipine and hydrochlorothiazide (HCT) in a single pill, has been shown to reduce blood pressure more effectively than dual combinations of any of its components.
The combination drug is based on Novartis’ direct renin inhibitor Rasilez (aliskiren), a successful regulator of high blood pressure.
The growing need for multiple medications to treat high blood pressure (estimated to be up to 85% of patients) is driving the market for combination drugs, which improve patient compliance.
Rasitrio lowers blood pressure in three ways:
• Aliskiren binds to and inhibits renin, an enzyme produced by the kidneys that can make blood vessels narrower.
• Amlopidine, a calcium channel blocker, relaxes the blood vessel walls.
• HCT, a diuretic, increases excretion of water and salt.
All three components also improve blood flow.
Hypertension affects as many as one billion people worldwide. Effective control can reduce the incidence of stroke and heart failure by half and heart attacks by one quarter.
The EC approval of Rasitrio is based on phase III data involving 1,181 patients, showing that the combination drug reduced blood pressure more effectively than dual combinations of any of its three components.
“Simplification of treatment for high blood pressure patients on three or more therapies is key to improving patient compliance and outcomes,” said Prof. Josep Redon, Hospital Clinico, University of Valencia, Spain.
“This innovative triple combination therapy, which has demonstrated significant reductions in blood pressure during clinical trials, offers patients a new and convenient treatment option.”