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Novartis Receives FDA Approval for Valturna(R), a Single-Pill Combination of valsartan and aliskiren, to Treat High Blood Pressure
Date:9/17/2009

or the first time, we have a treatment option in one pill that targets two key points of the RAAS, which may be overactive in many hypertensive patients."

This approval was primarily based on a pivotal eight-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial in approximately 1,800 patients, which studied aliskiren 150 mg and 300 mg and valsartan 160 mg and 320 mg alone and in combination. The initial doses of aliskiren and valsartan were 150 mg and 160 mg, respectively, and were increased at four weeks to 300 mg and 320 mg, respectively. Blood pressure reductions with the aliskiren/valsartan combination were significantly greater than with the monotherapies or placebo at the eight-week primary endpoint. Mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure reductions from baseline were 17.2/12.2 mmHg for aliskiren 300 mg/valsartan 320 mg, compared with 12.8/9.7 mmHg for valsartan 320 mg, 13.0/9.0 mmHg for aliskiren 300 mg, and 4.6/4.1 mmHg for placebo (p<0.05 for aliskiren/valsartan vs monotherapies or placebo).

The single-pill combination Valturna targets the RAAS in two ways. The valsartan component blocks, at the receptor level, the action of angiotensin II, an important end product of the RAAS that causes blood vessels to tighten and narrow. The aliskiren component reduces angiotensin II levels by directly inhibiting renin, an enzyme produced by the kidneys that starts a process which leads to formation of angiotensin II. An overactive RAAS is an important contributor to high blood pressure in many patients. By targeting two key points within the RAAS, Valturna helps blood vessels relax and widen so blood pressure is lowered.

Research suggests that up to 85% of hypertensive patients may need multiple medications to help control their blood pressure, underscoring the need for effective combination treatments.

High blood pressure affects approximately 74 million, or nearly one in thr
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