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Targeting chemoreceptors in hypertension: a large animal pre-clinical trial

49 months
Approved budget:
Associate Professor Rohit Ramchandra
Health issue:
Proposal type:
Lay summary
High blood pressure (hypertension) affects one third of the adult population in New Zealand causing strokes and heart disease. Only half of these patients have blood pressure adequately controlled because of ineffective treatment. Remarkably, there has been no new blood pressure medicine for over 20 years. We have discovered that the organ monitoring blood oxygen levels to the brain and heart (chemoreceptors) becomes hyperactive in conditions of hypertension, forcing blood pressure to rise. This represents a new treatment target. Importantly, we have found a drug that will target chemoreceptors specifically and reduces their activity. We predict that this drug can produce long-lasting decreases in blood pressure and want to test this in a clinically relevant, large animal model of hypertension before conducting a future human trial. If successful, our study may represent a novel treatment strategy for hypertensive patients.