You can hear the champagne corks popping from Westminster, CO to Foster City, CA as the FDA late Friday approved Gilead's (Myogen) Letairis® (ambrisentan) for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). There are up to an estimated 90,000 people in the US suffering from PAH, a disease where blood pressure is raised due to constricting lung vessels which may lead to heart failure. Letairis® is an endothelin receptor antagonist, and works by relaxing the blood vessels. Plans are to launch US sales this week and via a co-marketing agreement with GlaxoSmithKline filing for approval for ROW sales and marketing are underway.
Letairis® approval is certainly a feather in the cap for the Colorado bio-ecosystem. The people, the science and the supporters worked long (an understatement) and hard (another understatement) to bring this drug to market. It will be exciting to see if this talented group of individuals will roll up their sleeves and do it again. That is where the true magic happens towards building a vibrant biocluster filled with serial entrepreneurs mentoring to first timers.
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