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Inhaled treprostinil: a therapeutic review

Authors Channick R, Voswinckel, Rubin L

Received 2 March 2011

Accepted for publication 23 September 2011

Published 24 January 2012 Volume 2012:6 Pages 19—28


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Richard N Channick1, Robert Voswinckel2,3, Lewis J Rubin4
1Pulmonary Hypertension Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA; 2University of Giessen Lung Center, Dept. of Internal Medicine, Giessen; 3Max-Planck-Institute for Heart and Lung Research, Dept. of Lung Development and Remodeling, Bad Nauheim, Germany; 4University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA

Abstract: Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a life-threatening disease which, if untreated, leads to right ventricular failure and often death. Several effective therapies are now available for PAH, including endothelin receptor antagonists, phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors, and prostacyclin analogs. The prostacyclin analog treprostinil has proven efficacious when delivered by subcutaneous or intravenous infusion, and most recently by inhalation. Inhaled treprostinil has been shown to be 64%–72% bioavailable in healthy volunteers. Pilot clinical studies have elucidated the acute hemodynamic effects and relative pulmonary selectivity of this agent, as well as established target dosing in PAH and nonoperable chronic thromboembolic PAH. Likewise, chronically administered inhaled treprostinil resulted in clinical and hemodynamic improvement. Both pilot studies confirmed a satisfactory safety profile in patients with PAH. The pivotal Phase III trial, TRIUMPH-I, demonstrated the efficacy and safety of inhaled treprostinil (target dose of 54 µg four times daily) in PAH patients added to background therapies of bosentan or sildenafil, as assessed by improvements in the primary endpoint, peak six-minute walk distance (median placebo-corrected treatment effect of 20 m), as well as select secondary endpoints. Inhaled treprostinil is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for patients with World Health Organization Group I PAH to improve exercise ability. Studies establishing effectiveness included predominately patients with New York Heart Association functional class III symptoms and etiologies of idiopathic or heritable PAH (56%) or PAH associated with connective tissue diseases (33%).

Keywords: pulmonary arterial hypertension, prostacyclin, treprostinil, inhaled, nebulizer

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