Objective: To review the mechanism of action, development, and clinical application of the calcimimetic compounds being investigated for the treatment of primary and secondary hyperparathyroidism (HPT).
Data sources: A MEDLINE search (1990-April 2004) was performed to identify all published articles related to calcimimetics. Published abstracts over the previous 5 years from various scientific meetings (American Society of Nephrology, American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, American Society of Bone and Mineral Research) were also searched for reports regarding investigational calcimimetic agents. Data on cinacalcet HCl were provided by Amgen, Inc.
Study selection and data extraction: Studies were selected based on number of patients included, relevance to the approved indications, and inclusion of pharmacokinetic and drug interaction information.
Data synthesis: The investigational calcimimetic compounds directly modulate the calcium-sensing receptor and can produce at least a 30% reduction in parathyroid hormone (PTH) secretion in secondary HPT. Cinacalcet appears to have more predictable pharmacokinetics and a lower risk of symptomatic hypocalcemia than the older agent, R-568. The safety profile and effective reduction in PTH and simultaneous reductions in calcium and phosphorus (and the calcium-phosphorus product) induced by cinacalcet make this agent advantageous over previously used therapies, such as vitamin D and phosphate-binding agents. More studies are required to determine additional uses of cinacalcet.
Conclusions: Cinacalcet has a unique mechanism for reducing PTH concentration and appears to be a safe and effective oral therapy for both primary and secondary HPT.