Long-term ambrisentan therapy for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension

Ronald J Oudiz, Nazzareno Galiè, Horst Olschewski, Fernando Torres, Adaani Frost, Hossein A Ghofrani, David B Badesch, Michael D McGoon, Vallerie V McLaughlin, Ellen B Roecker, Brooke C Harrison, Darrin Despain, Christopher Dufton, Lewis J Rubin
Journal of the American College of Cardiology 2009 November 17, 54 (21): 1971-81

OBJECTIVES: This study evaluated the safety and efficacy of ambrisentan for a period of 2 years in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).

BACKGROUND: Ambrisentan is an oral, once-daily endothelin receptor antagonist that is selective for the endothelin type A receptor. The ARIES-1 (Ambrisentan in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Multicenter, Efficacy Studies) and ARIES-2 trials were the pivotal 12-week, placebo-controlled studies that led to the regulatory approval of ambrisentan (5 and 10 mg) for the treatment of PAH.

METHODS: In the ARIES-1 and -2 studies, and the subsequent long-term extension protocol, the ARIES-E study, 383 patients received ambrisentan (2.5, 5, or 10 mg). Efficacy and safety assessments are presented from the time of the first dose of ambrisentan for all patients with post-baseline data.

RESULTS: After 2 years of ambrisentan exposure, the mean change from baseline in 6-min walk distance was improved for the 5-mg (+23 m; 95% confidence interval: 9 to 38 m) and 10-mg (+28 m; 95% confidence interval: 11 to 45 m) groups. Estimates of survival and freedom from clinical worsening for the combined dose group were 94% and 83%, respectively, at 1 year and 88% and 72%, respectively, at 2 years. The annualized risk of aminotransferase abnormalities >3x the upper limit of normal was approximately 2% per year; most of these events were mild and did not lead to discontinuation of drug.

CONCLUSIONS: Two years of ambrisentan treatment was associated with sustained improvements in exercise capacity and a low risk of clinical worsening and death in patients with PAH. Ambrisentan was generally well tolerated and had a low risk of aminotransferase abnormalities over the 2-year study period. (A Long Term Study of Ambrisentan in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Subjects Having Completed AMB-320 or AMB-321; NCT00578786).

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