Switzerland's Cytos stirred up some excitement with its announcement that new trial data backs up its hopes for a new vaccine that can be used to thwart high blood pressure. The therapy works by neutralizing a hormone--angiotensin--responsible for higher blood pressure. Researchers say the vaccine was linked with only mild side effects, such as flu-like symptoms. One of the key advantages of the vaccine, which theoretically could be on the market in about five years, is that the three annual injections required for therapy would go a long way to improving compliance. Researchers tested the jab on 72 people and Cytos plans to expand its investigations with much larger pools of volunteers.
A wide variety of therapies are on the market today, but patients frequently forget to take them. One of the reasons for the excitement in development circles is the likelihood that a successful new therapy would swiftly attain blockbuster status. A quarter of the population suffers from hypertension, making it a massive market.
"Immunization may be of particular benefit to people who find it difficult to stick to high blood pressure medication, but there is still a long way to go before this approach replaces the highly-effective current treatments," Professor Jeremy Pearson of the British Heart Foundation told the BBC.
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