2 Companies Targeting Treatment for Hypertension to Consider Today
Jordo is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can lead to heart attacks, stroke, and kidney failure if left untreated. While hypertension typically affects most people at some point during their lives, this condition has few warning signs. Long-term stress, poor diet and lack of exercise, excessive smoking or alcohol consumption can trigger hypertension in younger, otherwise healthy people. Luckily, multiple treatments and medications exist to help lower blood pressure and help patients lead normal, healthy lives.
In addition to FDA-approved medications currently on the market, new clinical trials sponsored by pharmaceutical and biotech companies help researchers determine new treatments for specific types of hypertension or hypertension in conjunction with other conditions such as diabetes. An estimated 1 in 3 Americans has high blood pressure. This means more invested in the research and development of drug treatments which should lead to increased profits for pharmaceutical companies and investors.
Recent clinical trials performed by pharmaceutical companies like Arena Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ARNA) and medical device companies like Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) may soon allow these companies to contribute viable treatment options for hypertension, along with similar conditions such as pulmonary arterial hypertension and resistant hypertension.
Arena recently announced the start of a phase I clinical trial for its new oral medication, APD811, which could extend the lifespan of those with pulmonary arterial hypertension by slowing the progress of the condition. Pulmonary arterial hypertension affects the arteries in the lungs. This typically causes the right side of the heart to become overworked and stressed which could lead to heart failure. Patients with this condition require medication to help complete everyday tasks and to slow down its progression.
Even though many patients with hypertension respond well to medications and treatments currently available for lowering blood pressure, over 120 million people worldwide suffer from resistant hypertension. This form of hypertension does not respond to medication and other treatments. Medtronic recently conducted a clinical trial in Japan to test The Simplicity System, its renal denervation device that uses radio frequencies to interrupt nerves found in the kidneys. This allows the body to absorb hypertension medications more freely.
Investors looking for long-term investment opportunities should consider pharmaceutical and biotech companies that manufacturer or will soon manufacturer hypertension medications and other treatments. According to Medtronic, its renal denervation device should bring in around $2 billion in sales/revenue by 2020. Considering that about 300 million patients with hypertension, particularly those with pulmonary arterial or resistant hypertension, will need some form of medication or treatment, other companies should be able to turn high profits as well.
Given the wide range of medications available and those still in clinical trial phases, investors have an ample amount to choose from.
When treated correctly, patients with high blood pressure can maintain a healthy lifestyle depending on whether they have other health concerns. Part of this maintenance requires patients to take medication or receive treatments on a regular basis – this helps provides ongoing revenues for some of these companies.
The only pitfall to consider when investing in companies that manufacturer high blood pressure medications and treatments is the intense competition. If patient demand remains high, more and more companies will develop medications and treatments – this means patients have additional choices, which could diminish individual company profits over time.
Faster FDA Approval
With growing concerns to specific conditions and diseases such as hypertension, obesity, and others, the FDA recently announced it would make changes to its review procedures for certain types of medications and treatments to help get these items to the marketplace faster. For companies like Arena and Medtronic this is good news. Changes to the current review policy include shorter clinical trials. The FDA will also provide companies with 'special medical use' tags for new medications and treatments so physicians can give these medications to patients most in need.
These changes not only allow patients to receive the latest medications and treatments in less time, pharmaceutical and biotech companies may also end up spending less on clinical trials and produce additional medications and treatments in less time.
Know What You Own
When it comes to do-or-die businesses, the biotech industry takes the cake. Arena Pharmaceuticals is one recent success story in the industry after gaining FDA approval for its innovative obesity drug. While the future looks bright for Arena, there are still plenty of obstacles ahead. In The Fool’s brand new premium research report on Arena Pharmaceuticals, they walk investors through the must know opportunities and threats facing the company. Since key news can develop quickly, they're also including a full year of updates for those who sign up. Click here now to learn more.
jordobivona has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Medtronic. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.If you have questions about this post or the Fool’s blog network, click here for information.