Closed Loop Medicine's dose-personalizing smartphone app boosts hypertension treatment success in study

The precision medicine developer Closed Loop Medicine has put forward a study showing that its approach of combining prescription drugs with dose-optimizing software could help personalize the treatment of high blood pressure.

The Cambridge, U.K.-based company said its digital therapeutic companion could help not only to boost patient adherence to medication, but also to demonstrate clinically significant gains against hypertension in a short amount of time. 

Closed Loop described the results as a stepping stone to broader platforms, which could include other pharmaceuticals such as GLP-1s for diabetes and weight loss. The company has also been studying its programs in insomnia.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, examined a pilot for remote care management during the COVID-19 pandemic. Closed Loop’s combination treatment, dubbed CLM-HT01, pairs the company’s app with Pfizer’s first-line blood pressure med Norvasc (amlodipine).

According to the company, about one in five patients do not refill their first prescription of the drug, largely due to dose-dependent side effects such as swelling of the legs and ankles. Closed Loop’s smartphone app aims to help dial in the correct amount on a per-person basis, built on patient-submitted reports.

“Often starting with very small doses, empowering participants to share both wanted and unwanted effects of medication helped us to work together to reduce blood pressure while minimizing any side effects,” said the study’s lead investigator, David Collier, a clinical director at Queen Mary University of London. “Some participants who had never tolerated full doses of any blood pressure medication got control for the first time.”

The 14-week trial of about 200 participants showed that average home blood pressure readings fell from 142/87 mmHg to 131/81 mmHg—with about one-third of patients demonstrating control with the study’s lowest amlodipine dose, titrated to 1 mg per day.

About 88% were able to control their hypertension with no peripheral edema, while adherence rates in blood pressure recording and medication were 84% and 94%, respectively.

“To improve patient outcomes, we need to shift to a world where we treat the individual, not just the disease,” Closed Loop’s co-founder and CEO, Hakim Yadi, said in a statement

“These findings are invaluable in demonstrating the power of personalizing the dose of existing therapeutics in areas as widely impactful as hypertension,” Yadi added. “We now want to take these learnings and apply them more broadly where we feel they will have the most impact, for example to minimize the adverse effects limiting GLP-1 programmes—an area currently seeing huge attention.”