Beraprost modified release, in addition to treprostinil, is in clinical development for the oral treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), a rare condition causing high blood pressure in the lungs. PAH can worsen over time and cause several problems including heart failure and blood clots. In PAH, the arteries in the lungs become thickened and stiff meaning the arteries cannot stretch as well to allow blood to flow through. This makes it harder for the heart to bump blood through the arteries leading to high blood pressure and weakening of the heart.
Beraprost modified release works by mimicking a naturally available substance in the body called prostacyclin which relaxes and widens the blood vessels and prevents the formation of blood clots. It is expected that beraprost modified release will relax and widen the blood vessels in the lungs, lowering blood pressure and therefore improving symptoms of PAH. This formulation of beraprost releases the drug over several hours, which reduces the frequency of administration, making this treatment more convenient to take. If licensed, beraprost modified release will offer an additional treatment option for patients with PAH in addition to treprostinil targeted therapy.
Udenafil works by blocking the enzyme phosphodiesterase type 5 which regulates the breakdown of ‘cyclic guanine monophosphate’ (cGMP) in the blood vessels of the lungs. Increased levels of cGMP leads to dilation (widening) of the vessels improving blood flow to the lungs, reducing the burden on the heart and improving oxygen supply to the blood. This is expected to improve the symptoms of the condition and may offer an additional treatment option for adolescents (12-18 years old) for the management of congenital heart disease after Fontan palliation who currently have few effective therapies available.