Gilead Says Blood Pressure Drug Met Trial Goals

Fri, 04/03/2009 - 4:37am
FOSTER CITY, Calif. (AP) — Gilead Sciences Inc. said late Thursday its high blood pressure drug candidate darusentan met its main goals in a late stage clinical trial. The study tested three different doses of the drug to determine if they significantly reduced sitting blood pressure after 14 weeks of dosing. Darusentan is designed to improve treatment resistant hypertension, or high blood pressure that has not been successfully reduced by other drugs. The 50 mg dose of darusentan reduced systolic blood pressure, or pressure taken when the heart contracts, by 16.5 millimeters of mercury, while the 100 mg dose and 300 mg dose caused a 18.1 mmHg reduction. That compares to a decrease of 18.1 mmHg for placebo patients. Gilead said diastolic blood pressure, or blood pressure taken when the heart is filling with blood, fell 10.1 mmHg for patients on the 50 mg dose, 9.9 mmHg for those using the 100 mg dose, and 10.7 mmHg for 300 mg dose patients. Placebo patients experienced a 5.3 mmHg improvement. Millimeters of mercury, or mmHg, is the standard unit of measurement for blood pressure. All blood pressure readings in the trial were made while patients were sitting down. The most common side effects were swelling and fluid retention, usually mild or moderate. A second late stage trial of darusentan is expected to finish by the end of the year.

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