Feb 27 (Reuters) - La Jolla Pharmaceutical Co said its lead experimental drug to treat low blood pressure met the main goal of a late-stage study on patients with distributive shock who have not adequately responded to existing treatments.
Distributive shock is a state in which the heart is pumping well enough, but the blood is not distributed properly to the vital organs leading to severe hypotention.
La Jolla's LJPC-501, a drug formulated from a natural peptide that regulates blood pressure, induced a statistically significant improvement in raising blood pressure than a placebo in the study, the company said.
Distributive shock is the result of various triggers such as trauma and severe allergies. The most common trigger, though, is sepsis, in which the immune system goes into overdrive to fight an infection or bacterial toxins.
About 500,000 patients in the United States go into distributive shock each year, and close to 200,000 do not derive enough benefit from decades-old treatments, including catecholamines such as epinephrine as well as vasopressin.
Each patient costs the healthcare system $100,000 on average, and about half of all patients die within thirty days, La Jolla Chief Executive George Tidmarsh told Reuters.
The company said a trend towards longer survival was observed in patients treated with LJPC-501. (Reporting by Natalie Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)