Cinaciguat, a soluble guanylate cyclase activator for the potential treatment of acute heart failure.

Universidad Complutense de Madrid, School of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology, Ciudad Universitaria, 28040 Madrid, Spain.
Current opinion in investigational drugs (London, England: 2000) (Impact Factor: 3.55). 09/2010; 11(9):1039-47.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The nitric oxide (NO)/soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC)/cyclic guanosine-3',5'-monophosphate (cGMP) pathway plays an important role in cardiovascular regulation by producing vasodilation and inhibiting platelet aggregation and vascular smooth muscle proliferation. The NO/SGC/cGMP pathway is disrupted in patients with heart failure as a result of a decrease in NO bioavailability and an increase in NO-insensitive forms of sGC, resulting in insufficient vasodilation. Drugs that activate sGC in a NO-independent manner may provide considerable therapeutic advantages in treating these patients. Cinaciguat (BAY-58-2667), currently in development by Bayer AG, preferentially activates sGC in its oxidized or heme-free state, when the enzyme is insensitive to both NO and nitrovasodilators. Cinaciguat exhibits potent vasodilator and antiplatelet activity, a long-lasting antihypertensive effect and a hemodynamic profile similar to that of nitrates. In clinical trials in patients with acute decompensated heart failure, cinaciguat potently unloaded the heart, increased cardiac output and renal blood flow, and preserved renal function and sodium and water excretion without further neurohumoral activation. The pharmacokinetics of cinaciguat demonstrated dose-proportionality with low individual variability and a low incidence of adverse events. The phase I and II clinical trials performed with cinaciguat so far, however, are insufficient to provide convincing evidence on the efficacy and safety of the drug. Thus, caution should be exerted before extrapolating the present preliminary data to the clinical practice.

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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Although evidence now suggests cGMP is a negative regulator of cardiac hypertrophy, the direct consequences of the soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) activator BAY 58-2667 on cardiac remodeling, independent of changes in hemodynamic load, has not been investigated. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that the NO(•)-independent sGC activator BAY 58-2667 inhibits cardiomyocyte hypertrophy in vitro. Concomitant impact of BAY 58-2667 on cardiac fibroblast proliferation, and insights into potential mechanisms of action, were also sought. Results were compared to the sGC stimulator BAY 41-2272. METHODS: Neonatal rat cardiomyocytes were incubated with endothelin-1 (ET(1), 60nmol/L) in the presence and absence of BAY 41-2272 and BAY 58-2667 (0.01-0.3 µmol/L). Hypertrophic responses and its triggers, as well as cGMP signaling, were determined. The impact of both sGC ligands on basal and stimulated cardiac fibroblast proliferation in vitro was also determined. RESULTS: We now demonstrate that BAY 58-2667 (0.01-0.3 µmol/L) elicited concentration-dependent antihypertrophic actions, inhibiting ET(1)-mediated increases in cardiomyocyte 2D area and de novo protein synthesis, as well as suppressing ET(1)-induced cardiomyocyte superoxide generation. This was accompanied by potent increases in cardiomyocyte cGMP accumulation and activity of its downstream signal, vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP), without elevating cardiomyocyte cAMP. In contrast, submicromolar concentrations of BAY 58-2667 had no effect on basal or stimulated cardiac fibroblast proliferation. Indeed, only at concentrations ≥10 µmol/L was inhibition of cardiac fibrosis seen in vitro. The effects of BAY 58-2667 in both cell types were mimicked by BAY 41-2272. CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate that BAY 58-2667 elicits protective, cardiomyocyte-selective effects in vitro. These actions are associated with sGC activation and are evident in the absence of confounding hemodynamic factors, at low (submicromolar) concentrations. Thus this distinctive sGC ligand may potentially represent an alternative therapeutic approach for limiting myocardial hypertrophy.
    PLoS ONE 11/2012; 7(11):e44481. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cinaciguat (BAY 58-2667) is a soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) activator that, in a previous study among patients with acute heart failure syndromes (AHFS), improved pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP) at the expense of significant hypotension at doses ≥200 µg/h. The aim of the COMPOSE programme was to investigate the safety and efficacy of fixed, low doses of intravenous cinaciguat (<200 µg/h for 24-48 h) as add-on to standard therapy in adults hospitalized with AHFS. COMPOSE comprised three randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in patients with [COMPOSE 1 and 2 (NCT01065077 and NCT01067859)] or without [COMPOSE EARLY (NCT01064037)] a requirement for invasive haemodynamic monitoring. COMPOSE 1 and COMPOSE EARLY assessed the effects of cinaciguat (50, 100, and 150 µg/h) on haemodynamics and dyspnoea, respectively. COMPOSE 2 assessed the haemodynamic effects of 10 and 25 µg/h cinaciguat. COMPOSE was terminated early due to an excess of non-fatal hypotension and recruitment difficulties. In COMPOSE 1 (n = 12), cinaciguat reduced PCWP at 8 h compared with placebo, but there was no relevant change in cardiac index. In COMPOSE EARLY (n = 62), no meaningful difference in dyspnoea was shown between cinaciguat and placebo. In this limited database, short-term use of intravenous cinaciguat decreased blood pressure without improving dyspnoea or cardiac index. Given the lack of effect on dyspnoea and cardiac index and the hypotensive effect seen even with low doses, it is doubtful that further studies with intravenous cinaciguat would prove beneficial in this patient population.
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