A daily medication for high blood pressure could be replaced by an injection twice a year, if Queen Mary University and Barts Health NHS Trust succeed in their trail to investigate if an injection-based drug – Zilebesiran – could inhibit the production of a protein called angiotensinogen (AGT).
Scientists are to trial a world-first drug to treat high blood pressure that can be given by injection twice a year.
Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, medical director, British Heart Foundation, said: “This exciting trial could lead to good news for the millions of people across the UK with high blood pressure, many of whom need to take daily medication to lower their risk of heart attacks and strokes.
“The study will determine whether an injection given twice a year lowers blood pressure sufficiently over a prolonged period.
“If this proves to be the case, it may provide an alternative to taking daily pills for some patients.”
Many patients with high blood pressure typically take tablets once a day to control the condition, with ACE inhibitors being the most common medication prescribed.
An injection-based drug to treat cholesterol was recently tested and approved for use by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
An estimated 15 million people in the UK have high blood pressure – around 28 per cent of adults – and at least half of them are not receiving effective treatment.
Left untreated, having high blood pressure significantly increases the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Around 50 per cent of strokes are associated with high blood pressure.