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United Therapeutics hypertension drug helps delay disease progression in study

United Therapeutics Corp. said its medicine Orenitram met the main goal of a study designed to determine whether the drug could reduce the risk of death in patients with hypertension.

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Preliminary analysis from the clinical trial, dubbed Freedom-EV, showed that Orenitram lowers the risk of death in patients suffering from pulmonary arterial hypertension by 26% when compared to placebo.

Pulmonary arterial hypertension patients experience high blood pressure in the blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the lungs.

"Orenitram is already indicated to improve exercise capacity and has been an important part of the [pulmonary arterial hypertension] treatment armamentarium since 2014. Freedom-EV expands on these benefits by demonstrating that Orenitram also delays disease progression," the Silver Spring, Md.-based biotechnology company's Chairman and CEO, Martine Rothblatt, said in a statement.

The company intends to file study results to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to include the Freedom-EV findings in the drug's label.

The company is also evaluating whether the results could support marketing applications for Orenitram, also known as treprostinil, outside of the U.S.