Background: Etamicastat is a dopamine β-hydroxylase (DβH) inhibitor currently in clinical development for the treatment of hypertension and heart failure.
Objective: This study assessed the tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of etamicastat in patients with arterial hypertension.
Methods: This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted in male patients aged between 18 and 65 years with mild to moderate hypertension. Participants received once-daily doses of etamicastat 50, 100, or 200 mg or placebo for 10 days. Antihypertensive effect was assessed by 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM).
Results: The study enrolled 23 male volunteers, with ages between 49 and 64 years. There were no serious adverse events reported. All adverse events were mild to moderate in intensity and resolved without sequelae. Etamicastat Tmax was 1 hour postdose, and mean t½ was 19 to 28 hours following repeated administration. Etamicastat underwent N-acetylation by N-acetyltransferase 2 (NAT2), forming the metabolite BIA 5-961. Following repeated administration, mean etamicastat AUC was 2- to 3-fold greater in poor acetylators than in rapid acetylators. Approximately 50% of the etamicastat dose was recovered in urine-30% as unchanged etamicastat and 20% as BIA 5-961. Dose-dependent decreases in systolic and diastolic blood pressure were observed after 10 days of treatment. The mean (95% CI) decreases versus placebo in nighttime SBP were statistically significant with all 3 etamicastat doses (50 mg, -11.66 mm Hg [-21.57 to -1.76; P < 0.05]; 100 mg, -14.92 mm Hg [-24.98 to -4.87; P < 0.01]; and 200 mg, -13.62 mm Hg [-22.29 to -3.95; P < 0.01]).
Conclusions: Etamicastat was well tolerated and showed a pharmacokinetic profile consistent with a once-daily regimen. NAT2 phenotype markedly affected the pharmacokinetics. The antihypertensive effect of etamicastat, assessed by 24-hour ABPM, was dose dependent up to 100 mg. The assessment of etamicastat as a novel antihypertensive therapy requires further study in broader populations. EudraCT trial registration 2008-002789-09.
Keywords: ambulatory blood pressure monitoring; dopamine β-hydroxylase inhibitors; etamicastat; hypertension; pharmacodynamics; pharmacogenomics; pharmacokinetics; tolerability.
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