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PHCentral News is gathered daily to bring you the latest developments in pulmonary hypertension treatments and research as well as stories we think are useful on an array of topics.  Under current news, you will find a dynamic list of stories for the last thirty (30) days.  You will find older news stories in our archives.    Stories about specific treatments can also be found in the medical section.

If you run across a PH news story we've missed or important story with broad appeal, please send us the link and we'll make sure it gets added.   Send news:  contact/info+phcentral+org.



  • April 18, 2015
  • FDA Grants Reata Pharmaceuticals’ Bardoxolone Methyl Orphan Drug Designation for the Treatment of PAH
  • (Lung Disease News) Reata Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an Irving, Texas-based biopharmaceutical company developing transcription-regulating activity drugs called antioxidant inflammation modulators (AIMs), recently announced that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Orphan Products Development (OOPD) granted orphan drug designation for bardoxolone methyl to treat patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).
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  • April 17, 2015
  • Elevated Concentrations of Circulating CXCL12? Predicts Poorer Survival in Patients with PAH
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) Recent work in preclinical models suggests that signaling via the pro-angiogenic and pro-inflammatory cytokine, CXCL12 (SDF-1), plays an important pathogenic role in pulmonary hypertension (PH). Now a research team found that elevated concentrations of circulating CXCL12α predicts poorer survival in patients with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) and that elevated circulating CXCL12α is risk factor for death that could potentially be included in a prognostic model and guide therapy. The results are published in the journal PLOS One.
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  • April 16, 2015
  • Capillary pCO2 helps determine IPAH diagnosis
  • (Medwire News) Capillary pCO2 (PcCO2) can be used to distinguish idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH) from pulmonary hypertension due to heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (PH-HFpEF), research indicates
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  • Pulmonary hypertension and hepatic cirrhosis.
  • (Pubmed) Pulmonary hypertension is a relatively common phenomenon in patients with hepatic cirrhosis and can appear through various mechanisms. The most characteristic scenario that binds portal and pulmonary hypertension is portopulmonary syndrome. However, hyperdynamic circulation, TIPS placement and heart failure can raise the mean pulmonary artery pressure without increasing the resistances. These conditions are not candidates for treatment with pulmonary vasodilators and require a specific therapy. A correct assessment of hemodynamic, ultrasound and clinical variables enables the differential diagnosis of each situation that produces pulmonary hypertension in patients with cirrhosis.
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  • April 15, 2015
  • EURORDIS: The Genetics Clinic of the Future
  • (EURORDIS.ORG) The Genetics Clinic of the Future (GCOF) kick-off meeting took place recently in Brussels. What is the project and what it does it means for patients? 

    Click headline for reading the full story behind.
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  • Effects of angiotensin II intervention on MMP-2, MMP-9, TIMP-1, and collagen expression in rats with PH
  • (Pubmed) Angiotenbsin II regulates MMP-2, MMP-9, and TIMP-1 expression and affects collagen deposition. Thus, this hormone is involved in pulmonary vascular remodeling, indicating a possible mechanism that can be targeted in pulmonary hypertension intervention.
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  • Unpredictability remains the one constant with seasonal influenza
  • (Helio) Seasonal influenza epidemics occur each year, but any prediction about the severity of upcoming influenza seasons is often conjecture, at best.
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  • April 14, 2015
  • Lung Cells Can Regenerate Themselves, Finding Could Bring New Disease Cures
  • (Tech Times) Lung tissue is better at regenerating itself after injury than previously thought, a discovery that could improve the treatment of some lung and breathing disorders, researchers say.
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  • April 13, 2015
  • Inhaled nitric oxide therapy and risk of renal dysfunction: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials
  • (7th Space) The available data show that iNO therapy may increase the risk of renal dysfunction, especially with prolonged use and in patients with ARDS. The risk in pediatric population is unknown owing to limited data.

    The authors suggest monitoring renal function during iNO therapy, and that future trials of iNO should evaluate renal safety.
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  • April 12, 2015
  • Oestrogen receptor alpha in pulmonary hypertension
  • (Cardiovascular Research) Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) occurs more frequently in women with mutations in bone morphogenetic protein receptor type 2 (BMPR2) and dysfunctional BMPR2 signalling underpinning heritable PAH. We have previously shown that serotonin can uncover a pulmonary hypertensive phenotype in BMPR2+/− mice and that oestrogen can increase serotinergic signalling in human pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells (hPASMCs). Hence, here we wished to characterize the expression of oestrogen receptors (ERs) in male and female human pulmonary arteries and have examined the influence of oestrogen and serotonin on BMPR2 and ERα expression.
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  • April 11, 2015
  • Pulmonary hypertension and pregnancy: The experience of a tertiary institution over 15 years
  • (Annals of Cardiac Anaesthesia) This article describes the experiences and outcomes of 19 deliveries occurring over a 15-year period at a tertiary center for obstetrics, cardiology and neonatology. The organization has a high-risk obstetric service making use of these and other specialty services as required.
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  • Rheumatoid Arthritis Related Diseases Have Similar Survival Rates
  • (HCPLive) Rheumatoid arthritis-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension (RA PAH) patients have an older age of onset and lower baseline mean pulmonary arterial pressure (mPAP) compared to idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH) patients, according to research published in Respirology.
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  • April 10, 2015
  • Ongoing Clinical Trial Testing Molecular Imaging Agent for Pulmonary Hypertension Diagnosis
  • (Lung Disease News) A team led by researchers at the Montreal Heart Institute in Canada is currently recruiting participants for a clinical trial designed to assess the safety and efficacy of a new non-invasive molecular imaging agent – PulmoBind – for the early diagnosis of patients with pulmonary hypertension. The trial is entitled “Phase-II Study of the Use of PulmoBind for Molecular Imaging of Pulmonary Hypertension” (NCT02216279).
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  • April 9, 2015
  • Patients Undergoing Hemodialysis Have Higher Prevalence of Pulmonary Hypertension and Heart Disease
  • (Lung Disease News) Researchers from Korea University Anam Hospital found a higher prevalence of pulmonary hypertension (PHT) associated with higher rates of major cardiovascular events in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients undergoing hemodialysis. The study entitled “Relationship between pulmonary hypertension, peripheral vascular calcification, and major cardiovascular events in dialysis patients” was published on March 2015 in the journal Kidney Research and Clinical Practice.
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  • April 8, 2015
  • Promising Molecular Imaging Technology Being Tested For Pulmonary Hypertension Diagnosis
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) The Montreal Heart Institute is currently recruiting patients for a Phase-IIc clinical trial that is evaluating the safety of PulmoBind in participants with pulmonary hypertension and its potential to detect abnormal pulmonary circulation associated within pulmonary hypertension. (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02216279).
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  • April 7, 2015
  • Actavis Seeks FDA Approval for Generic Letairis to Treat PAH Patients
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) Dublin, Ireland-based pharmaceutical company Actavis plc has submitted an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding its generic version of the drug Letairis, originally marketed by Gilead Sciences, Inc. The company is now waiting for the decision from the FDA on the market approval of Ambrisentan Tablets in 5 mg and 10 mg doses to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).
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  • April 6, 2015
  • Aurobindo Pharma gets USFDA nod for Sildenafil injection
  • (Economic Times) NEW DELHI: Aurobindo PharmaBSE 2.25 % has received approval from the US health regulator to manufacture and market Sildenafil injection, used for treating pulmonary arterial hypertension, in the American market.
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  • April 5, 2015
  • MySleep101 App Addresses Sleep Disorders Associated With PH, Other Conditions
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) Affecting more than 80 million Americans each year, poor sleep quality has been associated with increased risks of stroke, dementia, headaches and several cardiovascular issues, including atrial fibrillation, and heart failure. Sleep disorders are also believed to be a factor contributing to pulmonary hypertension.
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  • Heterogeneous Gene Expression Signatures Correspond to Distinct Lung Pathologies and Biomarkers of Disease Severity in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • (Medscape) here is microscopic spatial and temporal heterogeneity of pathological changes in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) lung tissue, which may relate to heterogeneity in pathophysiological mediators of disease and clinical progression. We assessed relationships between gene expression patterns, pathological features, and systemic biomarkers to identify biomarkers that reflect the aggregate disease burden in patients with IPF.
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  • April 4, 2015
  • Ongoing Clinical Trial Testing Tadalafil for Pulmonary Hypertension Due to COPD
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) A new pilot clinical trial for Pulmonary Hypertension in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is now recruiting participants – U.S. veterans between 40 to 85 years old and suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease who are willing to participate (the study accepts both males and females). The study is entitled “Tadalafil for Pulmonary Hypertension associated with Chronic Lung Disease” and is actively recruiting participants. The trial is an interventional randomized study to test the potential of Tadalafil in decreasing Pulmonary Hypertension due to COPD when compared to placebo.
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  • COPD Affects Nearly 16 Million Americans, Researchers Report
  • (Medscape) Approximately 15.7 million US adults (6.4%) have been diagnosed with COPD, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Health professionals and policymakers can do more to reduce its effects by encouraging specialized exercise and rehabilitation programs and promoting public health efforts to address smoking and physical inactivity.
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  • April 3, 2015
  • Surrogate Marker Has to Suffice for Rare Disease, FDA Says
  • (Medscape) Forced vital capacity (FVC) is an acceptable surrogate endpoint when it comes to approving new agents for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has decided....
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  • April 2, 2015
  • Pulmonary Hypertension And Advanced HF Included In The New Guidelines For Pediatric Cardiology
  • (Doctor Pulse) The introduction explains the overall changes to the training guidelines, including how the guidelines now meet ACGME’s new criteria for training programs. Pulmonary hypertension, advanced heart failure and transplantation is a new task force included in these guidelines, added to the task force chapters on general pediatric cardiology, noninvasive imaging, cardiac catheterization, electrophysiology, critical care, adult congenital heart disease and research. All reports identify the core competencies required of all pediatric cardiology fellows to complete training.
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  • April 1, 2015
  • Bellerophon Reports 2014 Operational Results
  • (Global News Wire) Jonathan Peacock, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Bellerophon Therapeutics. "We are moving forward with our Phase 3 INOpulse® program for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) following our end of Phase 2 meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In addition, we are preparing our Phase 2b program for Pulmonary Hypertension associated with COPD (PH-COPD) following the read-out of our Phase 2a dose ranging and safety study in more than 150 patients.
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  • Actelion Receives Japan Marketing Approval For Opsumit For Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) Actelion recently announced that it has received marketing approval for Opsumit®, the trade name for macitentan, as a treatment for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) from Japan’s Ministry of Health Labor and Welfare.
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  • March 31, 2015
  • Elusive Origin of Pulmonary Hypertension Uncovered
  • (Health Canal) There has also been little progress in identifying and preventing PH in those at risk for the disease. A new study published in EMBO Molecular Medicine by researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) sheds light on the disease’s surprising cause, with crucial implications for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of PH in persons at risk.
    ..
    In studies that have spanned nearly eight years of work, Chan and his colleagues found that specific disruptions in mitochondria, the powerhouses of cells, lead to alterations of energy production, or metabolism, of blood vessels of the lungs. ISCU is a critical human protein that generates factors called iron-sulfur clusters essential for normal mitochondrial function.
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  • Serial Risk Score For Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Helps Predict Disease Outcomes
  • (Lung Disease News) In a recent study entitled “Prognostic implications of serial risk score assessments in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension: A Registry to Evaluate Early and Long-Term Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Disease Management (REVEAL) analysis” researchers determined how changes in risk scores in patients with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension impact their disease prognosis. The study was published in The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation. 
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  • March 30, 2015
  • Researchers Find Pulmonary Hypertension Drug Sildenafil Has No Significant Impact on Cardiac Function
  • (Lung Disease News) Researchers at the Hospital Ana Neri in Federal University of Bahia in Brazil found that the medication Sildenafil appears to have no immediate impact on cardiac function in patients with heart failure. The study was recently published in the journal PLOS ONE and is entitled “The Immediate Effect of Sildenafil on Right Ventricular Function in Patients with Heart Failure Measured by Cardiac Magnetic Resonance: A Randomized Control Trial.” The clinical trial is registered under the number NCT01936350.
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  • March 29, 2015
  • Why Dietary Cholesterol Is No Longer Enemy Number One
  • (Medscape) An expert panel has released its new recommendations to the US Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture, which will draft the final US dietary guidelines later this fall. Those guidelines, which are updated every 5 years, will likely no longer set an upper limit for cholesterol intake for people with hypercholesterolemia.
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  • Observing Alterations on Right Side of Heart Reveals COPD-Related PH Best
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) Results from a recent study published in the Egyptian Journal of Chest Diseases and Tuberculosis suggest that Pulmonary hypertension (PH) in patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a common co-morbidity along with right sided cardiac changes. Based on the findings, the researchers suggest that Echocardiography should be used with caution during assessment of pulmonary artery systolic pressure (PASP). In the study, COPDPH patients were also found to have worse prognosis than COPD patients without PH.
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  • March 28, 2015
  • Clinical Pharmacology of Endothelin Receptor Antagonists Used in the Treatment of PAH
  • (Medscape) Vascular endothelial cells mainly produce and secrete endothelin (ET-1) in vessels that lead to a potent and long-lasting vasoconstrictive effect in pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells. Along with its strong vasoconstrictive action, ET-1 can promote smooth muscle cell proliferation. Thus, ET-1 blockers have attracted attention as an antihypertensive drug, and the ET-1 signaling system has paved a new therapeutic avenue for the treatment of PAH. We outline the current understanding of not only the pathogenic role played by ET-1 signaling systems in the pathogenesis of PH but also the clinical pharmacology of endothelin receptor antagonists (ERA) used in the treatment of PAH.
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  • Iron Homeostasis and Pulmonary Hypertension
  • (American Heart Association) Data suggests a major role for iron in pulmonary vascular homeostasis and support the clinical evaluation of iron replacement in patients with pulmonary hypertension.
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  • March 27, 2015
  • Researchers Uncover a Potential Non-invasive Test for Certain Types of Pulmonary Hypertension
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) Researchers from the German Center of Lung Research (DZL), Hannover Medical School in Germany recently released findings from a study in which they investigated the theory that the capillary pCO2 (pcCO2) may help in distinguishing between idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH) and pulmonary hypertension due to heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (PH-HFpEF). An improvement in making an accurate diagnosis between these two disease types could lead to improved treatment and patient outcomes. The study entitled, “Capillary pCO2 helps distinguishing idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension from pulmonary hypertension due to heart failure with preserved ejection fraction,” was published in the most recent edition of Respiratory Research.
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  • Pulmonary arterial hypertension associated with chronic active Epstein-Barr virus infection.
  • (Pubmed) Chronic active Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection (CAEBV), characterized by persistent infectious mononucleosis-like symptoms, can lead to cardiovascular complications including coronary artery aneurysm or myocarditis. Here, we present the case of an 11-year-old boy with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and junctional ectopic tachycardia associated with CAEBV. The patient did not have any major symptoms attributed to CAEBV, such as fever, lymphadenopathy or splenomegaly when the PAH developed. Mild liver dysfunction was found at the first examination, and it persisted. Two years after the PAH symptoms appeared, CAEBV was evident, based on deteriorated liver function, hepatosplenomegaly, and coronary artery aneurysms. CAEBV should be considered as a cause of secondary PAH, particularly when liver dysfunction coexists.
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  • March 26, 2015
  • Beneficial Effects of Renal Denervation on Pulmonary Vascular Remodeling in Experimental Pulmonary Artery Hypertension.
  • (pubmed) Activation of both the sympathetic nervous system and the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system is closely associated with pulmonary arterial hypertension. We hypothesized that renal denervation decreases renin-angiotensin-aldosterone activity and inhibits the progression of pulmonary arterial hypertension.
    [..]
    Renal denervation attenuates pulmonary vascular remodeling and decreases pulmonary arterial pressure in experimental pulmonary arterial hypertension. The effect of renal denervation may contribute to decreased neurohormone levels.
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  • Reported sildenafil side effects in pediatric pulmonary hypertension patients.
  • (PubMed) Click headline for more, please.
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  • March 25, 2015
  • Bellerophon Therapeutics Selects Flextronics to Manufacture the Mark2, Next-Generation INOpulse(R) Device
  • (CNN) Bellerophon's INOpulse is a drug-device combination system that is targeted to reducing pulmonary hypertension in patients with this condition including those with PAH and PH-COPD. The INOpulse system is designed to deliver pulsed doses of pharmaceutical-grade nitric oxide, a molecule naturally produced in the endothelial lining of blood vessels that plays a significant role in vasodilation, or opening of the arteries, including arteries in the lung.

    Jonathan Peacock, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Bellerophon Therapeutics, noted, "We are pleased to work with Flextronics, an established, global leader, for the manufacturing of our next-generation device. This new device is significantly smaller, lighter and more user friendly than the previous version, which we believe will help patients to be more compliant with their therapy. Flextronics' experience with manufacturing medical devices, including portable drug delivery systems, was important to us, and we look forward to working with them to have devices ready for our upcoming Phase 3 trials for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) which we expect to commence in the second half of 2015."
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  • Cystic Fibrosis Discovery Provides Insight into Other Pulmonary Conditions - See more at: http://www.hcplive.com/news/Cystic-Fibrosis-Discovery-Provides-Insight-into-Other-Pulmonary-Conditions#sthash.kijEQvsi.dpuf
  • (HCP Live) In patients with cystic fibrosis (CF), mucus’ molecular bonds become more complex due to inflammation, creating an “elastic sludge” effect, according to a team of researchers from University of California San Francisco (UCSF) who claimed their findings could also be beneficial for other respiratory conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma.
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  • March 24, 2015
  • Risk for Anesthesia Complications Still High In Children With Pulmonary Hypertension
  • (Anesthesiolgy News) Children with pulmonary hypertension (PHT) are still at a high risk for adverse events during anesthesia even when using the latest disease-modifying treatments, according to a new study.
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  • Sildenafil therapy in bronchopulmonary dysplasia-associated PH: a retrospective study of efficacy and safety
  • (Springer.com) Sildenafil therapy was associated with a significant improvement in the echocardiographic markers of PAH and a reduction in FiO2. The medication was well tolerated...
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  • March 23, 2015
  • Prognostic potential for pericardial effusion in PAH patients
  • (News Medical) Monitoring pericardial effusion on serial transthoracic echocardiograms (TTEs) provides useful prognostic information in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), research suggests.
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  • March 22, 2015
  • Combining CT measurements assists pulmonary hypertension prediction
  • (News Medical) Research suggests that combining pulmonary artery (PA) and ventricular measurements improves the chances of identifying pulmonary hypertension (PH) in patients undergoing computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA).
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  • Boy's 26 arterial narrowings fixed in one fell swoop
  • (Health Canal) Cardiothoracic surgeon Frank Hanley corrected more than two dozen pulmonary artery narrowings in a 6-year-old patient during one marathon surgery.
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  • March 21, 2015
  • Issues remain in treatment diagnosis of PH in patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases
  • (Healio) Unresolved issues were present in the treatment and diagnosis of early pulmonary hypertension in patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases, who are at higher risk for pulmonary arterial hypertension, according to researchers at the Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine in Ankara, Turkey.
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  • Selten's PAH treatment tacrolimus gets FDA orphan drug status
  • (Regulatory Affairs) The company said that SPI-026 prevented the development of PAH in mice with a deletion of BMPR2 endothelial cells in a chronic hypoxia model, and reversed PAH and neointimal/occlusion in the lungs in rats with neointima formation following VEGF receptor blockade and chronic hypoxia.
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  • March 20, 2015
  • Computed Tomography Pulmonary Angiography Measurements Shown as a Predictive Tool for Pulmonary Hypertension
  • (Lung Disease News) Researchers at the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, The Netherlands recently published findings in The International Journal of Cardiovascular Imaging that reveal specific measurements obtained by standard computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA) can be used as an accurate predictive tool for pulmonary hypertension. The study is entitled “Predicting pulmonary hypertension with standard computed tomography pulmonary angiography.”
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  • New Cellular Proliferation Protein Observed in Idiopathic Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic recently published findings in the journal Circulation revealing that a protein linked to the glucose metabolism pathway can promote cellular proliferation in lung tissues of individuals with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH). The study is entitled “O-GlcNAc Transferase Directs Cell Proliferation in Idiopathic Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.”
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