Geneticure, Inc., a leading personalized medicine company that uses individuals’ genetics to help guide treatment for chronic diseases, today announced their patent-pending technology to improve blood pressure (BP) reductions in renal denervation (RDN) patients. This announcement comes after 3 years of groundbreaking research in RDN and 6 years of studying the genetic response to anti-hypertensive therapies.
RDN has previously demonstrated promise as an interventional procedure that can lower BP by decreasing signaling of the renal nerves. This can be accomplished using radiofrequency/ultrasound ablation or injection of ethanol. Regardless of denervation method, most studies demonstrate that 1 in 3 patients do not have a meaningful (5mmHg) drop in BP and ~20% of individuals have an increase in BP with RDN.
According to a recent study by Medtronic, 6.9% of patients would be willing to consider an interventional approach, such as RDN, with reductions in office BP anticipated at 2.5 mmHg, the minimal acceptable benefit. However, 76.5% of patients would be willing to consider an interventional approach such as RDN with reductions in office BP anticipated at 10 mmHg.
Geneticure has developed a genetic screening to identify patients who will likely not respond to RDN. The company hypothesizes that screening out non-responders will result in a dramatically improved average BP reduction in the remaining RDN patient population and thereby increase adoption (250% overall increase in adoption by using genetic screening to increase BP reduction). A detailed summary of Geneticure’s work in RDN can be found on their website here.
“Given that there is a BP increase in a subgroup of patients post-denervation, regardless of technique used, or whether patients are on or off medications, it is clear that there is a portion of the population that is likely having a compensatory increase in BP due to their unique biology,” said Eric Snyder, Ph.D., co-founder at Geneticure. “This increase is likely due to the interplay between the sympathetic nervous system, heart, vasculature, and kidneys in controlling BP. Each of these organ systems is differentially important in RDN. Because of this, we have selected genotypes with known functionality in each of these systems that we believe will predict response to RDN, far better than a simple biologic variable (renin, heart rate, etc.) and at a much lower cost.”
Support of identification of responders has been echoed by RDN thought leaders. Dr. James W. Choi, MD, FACC, FSACI an interventional cardiologist at Baylor Research Institute who has studied RDN extensively, added “I have recognized the promise and potential of renal denervation for patients through my experience and believe that it’s benefit could be further strengthened by a test that better predicts responders vs non-responders.”
“I find the concept intriguing.” Said Tim Fischell, MD, FACC, a cardiologist with a long-standing interest in RDN. “There is potential usefulness if one could genetically screen patients, to identify responders and non-responders to RDN and/or other antihypertensive therapies.”
- United States