New treatment for our sickest patients comes closer to reality

June 30, 2017

The Ottawa Hospital was one of the top sites for enrolling patients in an international clinical trial of a promising new treatment for shock. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows that a naturally-occurring protein called angiotensin II can raise blood pressure in shock patients who haven’t responded to other treatments. If the results are confirmed and the drug is approved, it could provide a new option for some of our sickest patients. Shock is a devastating condition that occurs when a patient’s blood pressure drops so low that their organs starve and begin to die. It is usually caused by an infection spreading throughout the body (septic shock).

“We routinely use drugs that target two of the body’s natural mechanisms to increase blood pressure,” said Ottawa site lead Dr. Shane English. “Angiotensin II targets a third pathway, so it represents a promising new option, but further research is required.”

Authors: Khanna A, English SW, Wang XS, Ham K, Tumlin J, Szerlip H, Busse LW, Altaweel L, Albertson TE, Mackey C, McCurdy MT, Boldt DW, Chock S, Young PJ, Krell K, Wunderink RG, Ostermann M, Murugan R, Gong MN, Panwar R, Hästbacka J, Favory R, Venkatesh B, Thompson BT, Bellomo R, Jensen J, Kroll S, Chawla LS, Tidmarsh GF, Deane AM.

Funders: La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company

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