Genetic profile enables personalised choice of blood pressure drug
Milan – Researchers headed by Dr. Chiara Lanzani at the Italian drugs manufacturer Sigma Tau have identified a gene signature that enables more targeted decisions in the choice of blood pressure-lowering drugs (Science Translational Medicine, 24 November). The researchers have discerned a genetic pattern that identifies 25% of responders to the sodium pump blocker Rostafuroxin. In a phase II trial, Lanzani and colleagues found that specific gene variants of the adducin gene family and of genes associated with high levels of the hormone ouabain led to rostafuroxin-inhibited pump activation and hypertension. The results open up the possibility of improved patient stratification, as they allow predictions to be made about the effectiveness of rostafuroxin (but not that of any other antihypertensive drugs) in patients carrying key gene variants. Because the mechanisms blocked by rostafuroxin also underlie high blood pressure-related organ damage, this drug may also reduce the risk of heart attack or other cardiovascular problems in patients beyond that typically expected from reduced blood pressure alone.