Novartis's AHU377 is Found to Lower Hypertension

Marrying a new blood-pressure-lowering drug to an old one results in a new drug that works better than either drug alone, a manufacturer-sponsored clinical trial suggests.

Novartis's AHU377 is a new kind of blood pressure drug called a vasopeptidase inhibitor. A previous drug in this class, Bristol-Myers Squibb's omipatrilat, showed great promise but failed because of a dangerous side effect.

AHU377 does not appear to have this side effect. But it's not a very powerful drug all by itself. However, a new study suggests that it significantly boosts the effects of Novartis's Diovan, a different kind of blood pressure drug called an angiotensin II receptor blocker.

Good news for high blood pressure patients. The results of a recent manufacturer sponsored clinical trial published in an online edition of The Lancet suggest that combining a new blood pressure lowering drug with an existing one offers some pretty impressive benefits.

The drug, Novartis’s AHU377 is a member of a new class of medications known as vasopeptidase inhibitors – you may have heard of an earlier drug of equal promise, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s omipatrilat, however that was found to have a dangerous side effect – swelling of parts of the body, including the throat.

AHU377 thankfully doesn’t display this side effect, but it’s not a very powerful medication alone. By combining this new medication with an existing drug – Diovan also from Novaritis – the blood pressure lowering effects were far better, significantly boosting the effects of Diovan.