Advances in Medicine Cause New, Groundbreaking Drug by Quantum Genomics (QNNTF) to Help With Chronic Hypertension
NEW YORK, August 2, 2019 (Newswire.com) - Quantum Genomics are the creators of Firibastat, a first-in-class brain aminopeptidase inhibitor (BAPAI) that could potentially treat treatment-resistant hypertension by acting in the brain to interfere with the renin-angiotensin system.
It is estimated that there are around 150 million people worldwide that are affected by treatment-resistant hypertension, resulting in almost 10 million deaths per year from complications due to high blood pressure. With such a high number of people dealing with this chronic condition (around 1.1 billion people). For those with treatment-resistant hypertension, they can be more susceptible to complications associated with hypertension such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, stroke, kidney disease and peripheral artery disease.
Standard treatments for hypertension include extensive lifestyle changes to address potential factors that may have contributed to the disease and multi-drug regimens, based on the preference of the treating doctor.
Firibastat works by crossing the blood-brain barrier and modulating the brain renin-angiotensin system (RAS). RAS is a hormone system that controls blood pressure in part by modulating dilation and constriction of the blood vessels throughout the body, there is a RAS system in the brain, and at the peripheral level (kidney, heart). By modulating the brain RAS, Firibastat decreases vasopressin release, decreases sympathetic nerve activity and improves baroreflex. These effects lead to a vasodilatation and an increased diuresis, thereby decreasing blood pressure.
In the brain, Firibastat causes the inhibition of aminopeptidase A (APA) which is a key enzyme in the RAS. By inhibiting APA, Firibastat decreases levels of angiotensin III in the brain, a key protein that drives vasoconstriction. It is because of these actions that take place in the brain due to Firibastat that the drug could potentially address hypertension in the population of patients that have been resistant to current treatments of hypertension that act at the peripheral level.
Quantum Genomics has concluded NEW-HOPE, which is phase 2b trial in difficult-to-treat hypertension. The trial included 256 overweight and obese patients with primary hypertension across the US including 53% of minorities patients (of whom 38% of African-American), 44% are female, and 26% are above the age of 65 years old. This kind of population is more likely to suffer from resistant hypertension.
Indeed treatment-resistant hypertension is not equally common across all demographics and ethnicities and was more prevalent in black, Hispanic, elderly and female populations. Obese patients with hypertension were 5 times more likely to be resistant to treatment.
Results of the trial indicated that treatment with Firibastat for 8 weeks resulted in significant (p<0.0001) decreased office systolic blood pressure by 9.5 mmHg (from 153.9 down to 144.4 mmHg) and was determined to be safe. Firibastat's efficiency was similar in black (-10.5mmHg) and non-black (-8.9mmHg) populations, contrary to other anti-hypertensive classes.
The trial also showed a larger blood pressure decrease for patients with higher baseline hypertension, a predictive factor of resistant hypertension. Based on the outcome of the NEW-HOPE trial, Quantum Genomics will initiate a phase 3 pivotal trial in resistant hypertension with Firibastat.
Based in Paris and New York, Quantum Genomics trades on the OTCQX in the United States (symbol: QNNTF) and Euronext Paris (symbol: ALQGC).
- Jean-Philippe MILON