Combination therapy with oral treprostinil for pulmonary arterial hypertension: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial

R. James White, Carlos Jerjes-Sanchez, Gisela Martina Bohns Meyer, Tomas Pulido, Pablo Sepulveda, Kuo Yang Wang, Ekkehard Grünig, Shirish Hiremath, Zaixin Yu, Zhang Gangcheng, Wei Luen James Yip, Shuyang Zhang, Akram Khan, C. Q. Deng, Rob Grover, Victor F. Tapson, FREEDOM-EV Investigators

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84 Citations (Scopus)
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Rationale: Oral treprostinil improves exercise capacity in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), but the effect on clinical outcomes was unknown. Objectives: To evaluate the effect of oral treprostinil compared with placebo on time to first adjudicated clinical worsening event in participants with PAH who recently began approved oral monotherapy. Methods: In this event-driven, double-blind study, we randomly allocated 690 participants (1:1 ratio) with PAH to receive placebo or oral treprostinil extended-release tablets three times daily. Eligible participants were using approved oral monotherapy for over 30 days before randomization and had a 6-minute-walk distance 150 m or greater. The primary endpoint was the time to first adjudicated clinical worsening event: death; hospitalization due to worsening PAH; initiation of inhaled or parenteral prostacyclin therapy; disease progression; or unsatisfactory long-term clinical response. Measurements and Main Results: Clinical worsening occurred in 26% of the oral treprostinil group compared with 36% of placebo participants (hazard ratio, 0.74; 95% confidence interval, 0.56–0.97; P = 0.028). Key measures of disease status, including functional class, Borg dyspnea score, and N-terminal pro–brain natriuretic peptide, all favored oral treprostinil treatment at Week 24 and beyond. A noninvasive risk stratification analysis demonstrated that oral treprostinil–assigned participants had a substantially higher mortality risk at baseline but achieved a lower risk profile from Study Weeks 12–60. The most common adverse events in the oral treprostinil group were headache, diarrhea, flushing, nausea, and vomiting. Conclusions: In participants with PAH, addition of oral treprostinil to approved oral monotherapy reduced the risk of clinical worsening.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)707-717
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright the American Thoracic Society 2020. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Clinical study
  • Combination therapy
  • Oral treprostinil
  • Pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • Sequential therapy


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