Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) is a disease with high mortality and morbidity. Current pharmacotherapy includes prostacyclin analogues, endothelin antagonists and phospho-diesterase inhibitors. The limitation of these molecules coupled with the modest efficacy has fueled research for better drug candidates in the treatment of PAH. Selexipag is a novel non–prostanoid IP receptor agonist. The drug inhibits the proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells and induces vasodilation in the pulmonary circulation. The drug is hydrolyzed to its active metabolite ACT – 333679 which has high affinity for prostanoid receptor. In the GRIPHON study, a multi-centric phase III clinical trial, selexipag was found to reduce mortality as compared to placebo, when given for over a year. Common adverse events with selexipag use includes headache, jaw pain, nasopharyngitis, nausea and pain in the extremity. The drug is given at a dose of 200 to 1600 mcg twice daily via oral route. Although selexipag is yet to be evaluated for its long term effects in PAH, its entry into the market is likely to usher hope and reduce the bleak prognosis associated with this devastating illness.
Keywords: Selexipag; Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH); Non– Prostanoid IP Receptor Agonist; New Drug; Mortality.Corresponding Author
: Melvin George*