By Huan Huang, cofounder and director of iSEEKPH Hope Center and presenter at PHA’s 2018 International PH Conference and Scientific Sessions
In the treatment of pulmonary hypertension (PH), China has the largest population of people with PH in one country and no Chinese-made therapies. However, things have begun to change. Since last year, the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) and China’s National Health Commission (NHC) have issued a series of policies and regulations that highlight the importance of innovation and research on orphan drugs. In addition, this year, China has released its first list of rare diseases, including idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH) and 120 other diseases.
iSEEKPH is involved in a database that follows a consortium model in which PH programs around China input data. Prompted by the new CFDA and NHC policies calling for research, iSEEKPH is using its database and collaborating with Guangzhou Medical University to enroll and screen patients for gene research (e.g., BMPR2, ALK1, ENG, SMAD9, CAV1, KCNK3, EIF2AK4) in the hope of finding better and more precise medications for persons with IPAH and hereditary PAH (HPAH).
In other exciting research-related news, European Respiratory Journal reports that a group of scientists from the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences has discovered that a “novel piperidine identified by stem cell based screening attenuates pulmonary arterial hypertension by regulating BMP2 and PTGS2 levels.”
In addition, two promising PH medications made in China are being prepared for their clinical trials. iSEEKPH will work with researchers to produce medications that reduce PH and advocate for affordable drug pricing.
iSEEKPH and the millions of people in China affected by PH are grateful for the Pulmonary Hypertension Association’s (PHA’s) continuous support. PHA not only has built good examples for persons with PH and other organizations, it also has tried every possible means to connect people and find a cure.