Clinical study shows that drug improves endothelial function in sickle cell disease patients

Itamar Medical, an international medical technology company developing noninvasive diagnostic technology using the Peripheral Arterial Tone (PAT) Signal, announced today the use of the company's patented Endo-PAT2000 in BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc.'s phase 2 study of patients with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD). The Endo-PAT2000 was used to measure endothelial function in a study designed to evaluate whether the drug 6R-BH4 can improve endothelial function in SCD patients.

Using measurements obtained from Endo-PAT tests, BioMarin announced Oct. 15 that the oral administration of 6R-BH4 is associated with an improvement of endothelial function in SCD patients. According to the study's key findings, Endo-PAT measurements showed that patients treated with escalating doses of 6R-BH4 showed improved endothelial function at weeks 8, 12 and 16, and that the improvement appeared to be dose dependent. Endo-PAT measurements indicate that patients with endothelial dysfunction at baseline, 56% of the study's patient population, improved to the normal range, with a demonstrated improvement at all dose levels.

Sickle Cell Disease is a chronic, debilitating, lifelong disease that affects a population of approximately 100,000 people in the U.S. In light of new medical research that has shifted focus away from the physical sickling of red blood cells towards the deteriorating health of blood vessels in SCD patients, BioMarin's trial evaluated changes in the physiological and biochemical markers of endothelial function, which underlie key aspects of Sickle Cell Disease.

In BioMarin's announcement, Emil Kakkis, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer of BioMarin stated: "The Endo-PAT device is a new reproducible method to measure the effect of endothelial dysfunction on small vessel function and has been adopted by the ongoing Framingham study of cardiovascular risks and outcomes. With this current SCD study, we have an indication that 6R-BH4 is active in improving endothelial function, and we hope to establish a clear relationship between the degree of endothelial dysfunction and the frequency and severity of sickle cell crises using a survey of SCD patients with the Endo-PAT test."

Dov Rubin, President and CEO of Itamar Medical stated: "We see many pharmaceutical companies, big and small, investing significant resources in finding cures for endothelial dysfunction. The fact that BioMarin, like other pharmaceutical companies, chose Itamar Medical's Endo-PAT2000 is not coincidental. The Endo-PAT2000 is the only medical device that is FDA-cleared as an aid in the detection of endothelial dysfunction. We regard the use of Endo-PAT2000 by pharmaceutical companies such as BioMarin and others as an endorsement of the Endo-PAT’s effectiveness and reliability for assessing endothelial function."

Itamar Medical has developed the first simple, inexpensive, office-based non-invasive diagnostic test for endothelial function. Endothelial dysfunction is the earliest stage of cardiovascular disease. The Endo-PAT2000 is a non-invasive device that measures endothelial function by using bio-sensors mounted on the patient's fingers. These sensors measure the PAT signal that reflects minute changes in vascular tone. Endo-PAT2000 adds an important dimension to the prevention of cardiovascular disease by enabling physicians to reliably detect endothelial function and modify patient management accordingly.

Itamar Medical (TASE: ITMR) is a medical technology company developing noninvasive diagnostic systems using Peripheral Arterial Tone (PAT) signal, including the Watch-PAT systems for the diagnosis of sleep related breathing disorders and the Endo-PAT systems for assessment of endothelial function, a condition recognized as an early stage of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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