Method of action
Angiotensin II causes blood vessels to constrict, and drives blood pressure up. CYT006-AngQb consists of virus-like particles covalently coupled to angiotensin II. Subcutaneous injection causes the immune system to produce antibodies which reduce angiotensin II blood levels, lowering blood pressure.
In a 2008 phase IIa study, 72 patients received 100 µg, 300 µg or placebo in weeks 0, 4, and 12. Blood pressure was lowered dose-dependently, by 5.6 mmHg (systolic) and 2.8 mmHg (diastolic) in the 300 µg group. Morning blood pressure (8:00) was lowered by 25 mmHg (systolic) and 13 mmHg (diastolic).
Side effects were mild and included local reactions, headache and fatigue.
The 2008 trial was small and exploratory. It did not address the question of whether the vaccine actually protects internal organs, nor did it address safety concerns such as whether the vaccine would cause autoimmune disease. If a standard drug treatment is found to dangerously inhibit the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, it can be withdrawn and the effects reversed quickly, but that would not be true of the vaccine. However, poor compliance to standard treatment is the main reason for inadequate control of blood pressure, and if vaccination were safe and effective in the long run, it may solve many compliance problems.
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- Tissot AC, Maurer P, Nussberger J; et al. (2008). "Effect of immunisation against angiotensin II with CYT006-AngQb on ambulatory blood pressure: a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled phase IIa study". Lancet. 371 (9615): 821–7. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(08)60381-5. PMID 18328929.
- Samuelsson O, Herlitz H (2008). "Vaccination against high blood pressure: a new strategy". Lancet. 371 (9615): 788–9. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(08)60355-4. PMID 18328909.
- Study to Evaluate Safety and Tolerability, Pharmacodynamic Effects and Exploratory Efficacy of a Vaccine Against Essential Hypertension
- Safety, Tolerability and Efficacy of a Vaccine Against Essential Hypertension