Due to the non-responsive nature of several advanced pharmacotherapies, as well as their high diagnosis and treatment costs, researchers and medical practitioners in the global pulmonary arterial hypertension treatment (PAH) market are continually working on favourable and effective alternative treatment models and increase survival rate among the patients with PAH.
In its recently published outlook on the global market for PAH treatment market, Future Market Insights projects that the $5bn market will barely exceed $6.5bn in terms of revenue over the next decade. The market has been estimated at a sluggish compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.5% over the 2018-2028 period. However, innovations and combination therapeutics are likely to forestall further decline of the PAH treatment market in the near future.
Cancer protein molecules tested for potential therapeutic use to prevent pulmonary arteries scarring
Scarring or fibrosis in PAH is an important cause of damage to pulmonary arteries, which strains the heart functions and eventually leads to breathlessness.
Recently, researchers from Brigham and the Women’s Hospital conducted a study using network medicine, a method of establishing a correlation between proteins and pathways. It identified the cancer protein NEDD9 and its molecular mechanisms as a potential treatment for PAH patients. The study also identified that a specific amino acid residue in the cancer protein is expected to play a crucial role in controlling and regulating the severe consequences of scarring.
BH4 factor controlling the production of nitric oxide shows promising results on rat model
Researchers at Imperial College London and Bar-Ilan University in Israel explored the properties of naturally occurring tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) and its subsequent role in effective treatment of lung hypertension and right heart failure.
BH4 controls the production of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) in the human body. eNOS produces nitric oxide, which is important for healthy endothelial cells and helps form the inside lining of blood vessels. Nitric oxide is responsible for dilating blood vessels, working to lower lung blood pressure.
Conducted on rats, the study saw animals injected with chemical-triggering pulmonary hypertension and injected with BH4. They showed signs of decreased lung pressure, stronger heart contractions and an enlarged heart.
The rats were then given BH4 in their food before the chemical that previously induced pulmonary hypertension. In this case, no thick layers of smooth muscles were developed, often leading to lung hypertension.
After Phase 1 clinical trials, the patients administered with BH4 orally showed improved exercise capacity, an indicator of low pressure in the lungs. It is anticipated that, when given the controlled measure, BH4 could prove to a valuable treatment for PAH patients who otherwise are not responsive to regular medication.
Accurate risk measuring tools required
Although measurable efforts are being made in the global PAH treatment market, the survival rate among PAH patients continues to remain low.
According to studies, the average life expectancy of PAH patient is approximately three years from symptom onset, with patients being at a risk of disease progression and frequent hospitalisations.
Several studies indicate that early diagnosed and low-risk patients stand a chance of improved survival if the risk is calculated accurately. Experts have expressed the need to develop appropriate and accurate risk prediction tools improve treatment outcomes in PAH patients.
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