The renin-angiotensin aldosterone system (RAAS) plays a key role in the regulation of blood pressure, acting via the effects of the hormone angiotensin (Ang) II. Ang II increases blood pressure and can exert growth-promoting effects leading to end-organ damage. Excess RAAS activity has been shown to be a major underlying cause of hypertension, heart failure, and related cardiovascular disorders. Inhibitors of renin block the RAAS at its first and ratelimiting step and thus appear to offer an excellent opportunity for blood pressure control. In the past two decades various potential renin hihibitors have been developed but have not been clinically useful. This review discusses a recent patent in the development of a novel class of non-peptide renin inhibitors: an alkanecarboxamide, aliskiren (SPP-100; Novartis). Aliskiren is effective in animal models, while recent results from studies in humans indicate that aliskiren is the first in a new class of orally effective renin inhibitors for the treatment of hypertension.
Keywords: Aliskiren, renin inhibitors, blood pressure, cardiovascular, morbidity, mortality, renin angiotensin aldosterone system (RAAS)
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