Pulmonary arterial hypertension is characterized by pulmonary vascular remodeling, cellular proliferation, and poor long-term outcomes. Dysfunctional bone morphogenetic protein pathway signaling is associated with both hereditary and idiopathic subtypes. Sotatercept, a novel fusion protein, binds activins and growth differentiation factors in the attempt to restore balance between growth-promoting and growth-inhibiting signaling pathways.In this 24-week multicenter trial, we randomly assigned 106 adults who were receiving background therapy for pulmonary arterial hypertension to receive subcutaneous sotatercept at a dose of 0.3 mg per kilogram of body weight every 3 weeks or 0.7 mg per kilogram every 3 weeks or placebo. The primary end point was the change from baseline to week 24 in pulmonary vascular resistance.Baseline characteristics were similar among the three groups. The least-squares mean difference between the sotatercept 0.3-mg group and the placebo group in the change from baseline to week 24 in pulmonary vascular resistance was -145.8 dyn · sec · cm-5 (95% confidence interval [CI], -241.0 to -50.6; P = 0.003). The least-squares mean difference between the sotatercept 0.7-mg group and the placebo group was -239.5 dyn · sec · cm-5 (95% CI, -329.3 to -149.7; P<0.001). At 24 weeks, the least-squares mean difference between the sotatercept 0.3-mg group and the placebo group in the change from baseline in 6-minute walk distance was 29.4 m (95% CI, 3.8 to 55.0). The least-squares mean difference between the sotatercept 0.7-mg group and the placebo group was 21.4 m (95% CI, -2.8 to 45.7). Sotatercept was also associated with a decrease in N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide levels. Thrombocytopenia and an increased hemoglobin level were the most common hematologic adverse events. One patient in the sotatercept 0.7-mg group died from cardiac arrest.Treatment with sotatercept resulted in a reduction in pulmonary vascular resistance in patients receiving background therapy for pulmonary arterial hypertension. (Funded by Acceleron Pharma; PULSAR ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03496207.).
Marc Humbert, Vallerie McLaughlin, J Simon R Gibbs, Mardi Gomberg-Maitland, Marius M Hoeper, Ioana R Preston, Rogerio Souza, Aaron Waxman, Pilar Escribano Subias, Jeremy Feldman, Gisela Meyer, David Montani, Karen M Olsson, Solaiappan Manimaran, Jennifer Barnes, Peter G Linde, Janethe de Oliveira Pena, David B Badesch, PULSAR Trial Investigators