December 21, 2017 / 11:41 PM / a year ago

FDA approves La Jolla's low blood pressure drug

(Reuters) - La Jolla Pharmaceutical said on Thursday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had approved its drug, Giapreza, to treat dangerously low blood pressure.

The company said it plans to make Giapreza available for patients in the United States in March.

La Jolla’s shares rose 4.2 percent to $32.45 in extended trading on Thursday.

However, the drug can cause dangerous blood clots with serious consequences and preventive treatment for blood clots should be used, the FDA said.

The injectable works by increasing blood pressure in adults suffering a shock, a critical condition in which blood pressure drops so low that the brain, kidneys and other vital organs can’t receive enough blood flow to function properly.

There are about 800,000 distributive shock cases in the United States every year, of which about 90 percent are septic shock, the most common form of distributive shock, the company said.

About 300,000 of these cases are not adequately treated with current standard therapy, according to the company’s estimates.

Reporting by Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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