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Friday, March 7, 2008

Angiotensin II Vaccine Lowers Blood Pressure

Physician's First Watch for March 7, 2008David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, Editor-in-Chief

A vaccine against angiotensin II lowers blood pressure, reports Lancet.

In a phase II (safety and efficacy) study sponsored by the developer, European researchers randomized 72 patients with mild-to-moderate hypertension to one of two doses of vaccine (100 or 300 μg) or to placebo. The vaccine consists of virus-like particles linked to angiotensin II; injections were given at weeks 0, 4, and 12.

By week 14, about 20% of vaccine recipients had experienced transient flu-like symptoms, and all had antibodies against angiotensin II. Those who received the 300-μg regimen had significant drops in mean BP compared with placebo recipients, especially early in the morning (–25 mm Hg systolic, –13 mm Hg diastolic).

Commentators wonder about the hazards of a treatment whose effects are not immediately reversible (the antibody's half-life after the third injection was 17 weeks). However, they find the exploratory trial "promising."

Lancet abstract (Free abstract; full text requires subscription)
Lancet comment (Subscription required

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