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‘New dawn’ for aldosterone as drug target in hypertension?



Once-daily treatment with the selective aldosterone synthase inhibitor lorundrostat (Mineralys Therapeutics) safely and significantly reduced blood pressure in adults with uncontrolled hypertension in a phase 2, randomized, controlled trial.

Eight weeks after adding lorundrostat (50 mg or 100 mg once daily) or placebo to background therapy, the medication lowered seated automated office systolic BP significantly more than placebo (−9.6 mm Hg with 50 mg; −7.8 mm Hg with 100 mg), with the greatest effects seen in adults with obesity.

“We need new drugs for treatment-resistant hypertension,” study investigator Steven Nissen, MD, chief academic officer at the Heart Vascular & Thoracic Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, said in an interview. Lorundrostat represents a “new class” of antihypertensive that “looks to be safe and we’re seeing very large reductions in blood pressure.”

Results of the Target-HTN trial were published online in JAMA to coincide with presentation at the Hypertension Scientific Sessions, sponsored by the American Heart Association.

Aldosterone’s contribution ‘vastly underappreciated’

Excess aldosterone production contributes to uncontrolled BP in patients with obesity and other associated diseases, such as obstructive sleep apnea and metabolic syndrome.

“Aldosterone’s contribution to uncontrolled hypertension is vastly underappreciated,” first author and study presenter Luke Laffin, MD, also with the Cleveland Clinic, said in an interview.

Aldosterone synthase inhibitors are a novel class of BP-lowering medications that decrease aldosterone production. Lorundrostat is one of two such agents in advanced clinical development. The other is baxdrostat (CinCor Pharma/AstraZeneca).

The Target-HTN randomized, placebo-controlled, dose-ranging trial enrolled 200 adults (mean age, 66 years; 60% women) with uncontrolled hypertension while taking two or more antihypertensive medications; 42% of participants were taking three or more antihypertensive medications, 48% were obese and 40% had diabetes.

The study population was divided into two cohorts: an initial cohort of 163 adults with suppressed plasma renin activity at baseline (PRA ≤ 1.0 ng/mL per hour) and elevated plasma aldosterone (≥ 1.0 ng/dL) and a second cohort of 37 adults with PRA greater than 1.0 ng/mL per hour.

Participants were randomly assigned to placebo or one of five doses of lorundrostat in the initial cohort (12.5 mg, 50 mg, or 100 mg once daily or 12.5 mg or 25 mg twice daily).

In the second cohort, participants were randomly assigned (1:6) to placebo or lorundrostat 100 mg once daily. The primary endpoint was change in automated office systolic BP from baseline to week 8.

Among participants with suppressed PRA, following 8 weeks of treatment, changes in office systolic BP of −14.1, −13.2, and −6.9 mm Hg were observed with 100 mg, 50 mg, and 12.5 mg once-daily lorundrostat, respectively, compared with a change of −4.1 mm Hg with placebo.

Reductions in systolic BP in individuals receiving twice-daily doses of 25 mg and 12.5 mg of lorundrostat were −10.1 and −13.8 mm Hg, respectively.

Among participants without suppressed PRA, lorundrostat 100 mg once daily decreased systolic BP by 11.4 mm Hg, similar to BP reduction in those with suppressed PRA receiving the same dose.

A prespecified subgroup analysis showed that participants with obesity demonstrated greater BP lowering in response to lorundrostat.

No instances of cortisol insufficiency occurred. Six participants had increases in serum potassium above 6.0 mEq/L (6.0 mmol/L) that corrected with dose reduction or drug discontinuation.

The increase in serum potassium is “expected and manageable,” Dr. Laffin said in an interview. “Anytime you disrupt aldosterone production, you’re going to have to have an increase in serum potassium, but it’s very manageable and not something that is worrisome.”

A phase 2 trial in 300 adults with uncontrolled hypertension is currently underway. The trial will evaluate the BP-lowering effects of lorundrostat, administered on a background of a standardized antihypertensive medication regimen. A larger phase 3 study will start before the end of the year.


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