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Drug licensed for pulmonary arterial hypertension

A new treatment option for patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension has been launched in England.

Macitentan (Opsumit) is a novel endothelin receptor antagonist indicated for the long-term treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension in adults.

Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a severe, life-threatening disorder with around 3,000 people in England on disease-targeted drug therapy, according to the 2013 National Audit of Pulmonary Hypertension.

It is characterised by abnormally high blood pressure in the arteries between the heart and lungs of an affected individual.

Macitentan, which is manufactured by Actelion Pharmaceuticals, received EU marketing authorisation on 20 December 2013, following completion of the SERAPHIN study − the longest and largest clinical trial to date in pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Results from the trial were published last year in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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