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Published on 18 February 2011

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Novartis gains positive CHMP opinion for BP combination pill

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The European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) adopted a positive opinion for Rasilamlo(TM) (aliskiren and amlodipine) to treat high blood pressure patients not adequately controlled by either aliskiren or amlodipine alone.

Rasilamlo combines in a single pill the only approved direct renin inhibitor worldwide, Rasilez®, with the widely used calcium channel blocker amlodipine.

The CHMP recommendation forms the basis for a European Commission licensing decision, which is expected in approximately three months.

“We are delighted with the CHMP opinion because it means that Rasilamlo could soon be made available to patients in the EU in need of effective combination treatments to help control their high blood pressure,” said David Epstein, Division Head of Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

“Novartis understands the complex needs of high blood pressure patients and is committed to furthering cardiovascular research and to developing innovative and effective treatments.”

The CHMP positive opinion of Rasilamlo is based on clinical trial data involving more than 5,000 patients with mild-to-moderate high blood pressure.

An eight-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-factorial study showed that the combination of Rasilez and amlodipine resulted in decreases in systolic/diastolic blood pressure at trough of 14-17/9-11 mmHg, compared to 4-9/3-4 mmHg for Rasilez alone, and 9-14/6-8 mmHg for amlodipine alone.

The single-pill combination Rasilamlo works to lower blood pressure in two ways.

The Rasilez component targets the activity of the renin angiotensin aldosterone system (RAAS), an important regulator of blood pressure.

Rasilez directly binds to and inhibits renin, an enzyme produced by the kidneys that starts a process that can make blood vessels narrow and lead to high blood pressure.

The calcium channel blocker amlodipine lowers blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessel walls through the inhibition of calcium.

Both of these medicines enable blood to flow more easily therefore lowering blood pressure.

“Single-pill combination therapies can simplify the challenging treatment regimens of high blood pressure patients on multiple medications,” said Professor Gordon McInnes, Professor of Clinical Pharmacology, Institute of Cardiovascular & Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow.

“Rasilamlo demonstrated greater blood pressure reductions than either aliskiren or amlodipine alone in clinical studies and can be expected to provide a convenient new treatment option to consider for uncontrolled patients.



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