May 252013

Researchers said on Tuesday that a new type of asthma drug could be a potential game changer for patients with moderate to severe respiratory disease.

The injectable drug, known as dupilumad, slashed asthmatic episodes by 87 percent in a mid-stage trial of 104patients. The team wrote about the latest trial’s results in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

“Asthma that is difficult to treat is increasingly recognized as comprising different phenotypes,” lead author Sally Wenzel, MD, director of the University of Pittsburgh Asthma Institute said. “With this study, we wanted to see whether dupilumab would reduce a surrogate index for asthma exacerbations when given with ICS and LABA and when those two therapies were withdrawn.”

Dupilumad is a fully human monoclonal antibody that thwarts activation of the Th2 immune response implicated in asthma by blocking two cytokines, interleukin-4 and interleukin-13. Researchers performed a 20-week study on patients who had received weekly injections of the drug.

Patients in the study received either dupilumad or a placebo twice a day. During the fourth week, patients were instructed to withdraw LABA, and between weeks six and nine they tapered off ICS. They found that dupilumad provided an 87 percent reduction in protocol defined asthma exacerbations. Moreover, they saw significant improvements for other relevant asthma outcomes like lung functions and morning peak expiatory flow.

Read more . . .

via Red Orbit

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