Technology | September 08, 2009

Actelion Launches Increased Strength Formulation of Ventavis for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

September 8, 2009 – Actelion Pharmaceuticals U.S. Inc. recently announced the first commercial sales of a new 20 microgram per milliliter (mcg/mL) formulation of Ventavis, for the treatment of New York Heart Association Class III and IV pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). This increased strength formulation delivers the same dose of Ventavis in half the volume, which is expected to reduce inhalation time and further support patient compliance. The 20 mcg/mL formulation of Ventavis is available immediately for pre-order, and fulfillment of initial prescriptions by specialty pharmacies is anticipated beginning the week of Sept. 14. The manufacturer says Ventavis is the leading inhaled prostacylin therapy for patients with PAH, and this stronger formulation is a major advancement. Together with the easy-to-use, compact inhalation device called the I-neb AAD System, it will offer even more convenience to patients using Ventavis. "Ventavis is the inhaled prostacyclin with the most extensive clinical experience, and is an extremely important treatment option for many patients with PAH. Shortening treatment times by 50 percent with the new 20 mcg/mL concentration will significantly benefit my patients," said Dr. Richard Channick, professor of medicine, pulmonary and critical care division, UC San Diego Medical Center. Ventavis is an inhaled synthetic analog of prostacyclin (PGI2) that produces potent pulmonary vasodilation and inhibits platelet aggregation, among other benefits. Prostacyclin functions as a hormone, binding to receptors on smooth muscle cells, thereby affecting their function. Prostacyclin has multiple physiological effects, including vasodilation, inhibition of platelet aggregation, antiproliferation, anti-inflammation, and enhanced cardiac contractility. PAH is a chronic, life-threatening disorder characterized by abnormally high blood pressure in the arteries between the heart and lungs of an affected individual. The function of the heart and lungs is severely compromised, manifested by a limited exercise capacity, and, ultimately, a reduced life expectancy. Approximately 100,000 people in Europe and the United States are afflicted with either primary or secondary forms of the disease related to conditions or tissue disorders that affect the lungs, such as scleroderma, lupus, HIV/AIDS or congenital heart disease. PAH is associated with structural changes in both the pulmonary vasculature and the right ventricle. For more information: www.4ventavis.com

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