US FDA approves Merck’s blood pressure therapy

By Thomson Reuters Mar 26, 2024 | 4:16 PM

(Reuters) -The U.S. FDA on Tuesday approved Merck’s treatment for adults with high blood pressure due to constriction of lung arteries, adding another potential blockbuster drug to the pharmaceutical giant’s portfolio

Shares of Merck were up 4% in extended trading.

The therapy, branded Winrevair, is approved for treating pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), which affects about 40,000 people in the United States.

“We look forward to making a significant difference for these patients that are left with a disease where the five year mortality is 43%,” Jannie Oosthuizen, president of Merck’s U.S. Human Health business, told Reuters.

Winrevair will carry a list price of $14,000 per vial, Oosthuizen said. According to data from the company’s trial, most patients will use a single vial every three weeks, which would translate to $238,000 per year.

Merck expects to be able to bring the drug to the market by the end of April.

(Reporting by Leroy Leo, Christy Santhosh and Mariam Sunny in Bengaluru and Michael Erman in New Jersey; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Krishna Chandra Eluri)