The US Food and Drug Administration has approved Novartis’ Valturna, a new treatment for patients with high blood pressure.

Valturna combines valsartan with aliskiren in a single pill format and is the first and only medicine to target two key points within the renin system, which plays a key role in regulating blood pressure.

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Division CEO Joe Jimenez said that the unique combination brings together the powerful blood pressure-lowering effects of valsartan and aliskiren.

“It offers an important additional treatment option for physicians and hypertension patients, many of whom are not at their blood pressure goal,” Jimenez said.

Approval was based on results from a eight-week randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial in approximately 1,800 patients, which showed significantly greater blood pressure reductions compared to monotherapies or placebo.

Research suggests that up to 85% of hypertensive patients may need multiple medications to help control their blood pressure.