Add-on Dupilumab Associated with Improved Allergic Asthma Outcomes

Patients with allergic asthma found symptom relief with the add-on biologic therapy dupilumab (Dupixent), researchers recently reported.  

Researchers analyzed phase III data from the Liberty Asthma Quest study; the findings were reported at the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology annual scientific meeting. 

The original study included patients aged ≥ 12 years whose persistent asthma was being treated with inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) and one or two other asthma controller medicines. For 52 weeks, patients received either dupilumab in 200- or 300-mg doses every two weeks, or matched placebo, both of which were in addition to their current treatment regimen. Endpoints were annualized rates of severe exacerbation events during the 52-week treatment period and absolute pre-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 s [FEV1] change from baseline to week 12. 

“Dupilumab was well tolerated, and doses given every 2 weeks improved lung function,” researchers wrote in the original study. From baseline to week 12, the least squares (LS) mean FEV1 change was 0.31 L in the 200 mg of dupilumab group and 0.28 L in the 300 mg of dupilumab group, compared to 0.12 L for the placebo group. Dupilumab patients saw a 70.0% to 70.5% reduction in severe exacerbations compared to placebo patients, as well as improved asthma control (LS mean change in the 5-item asthma control questionnaire [ACQ-5] score from baseline to week 24 of −1.49 and −1.45 for 200 and 300 mg of dupilumab, respectively, and −1.14 for placebo). 

Mario Castro, MD, of Washington University in St. Louis, who presented the present review at the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology annual scientific meeting, told MedPage Today, “For the post-hoc analysis we compared outcomes in patients with and without evidence of allergic disease and found that the response rate in terms of exacerbations and lung function increases were similar in the two populations.” 

The review is important because it could lead to alternative treatment options for some patients, Castro said. 

“Clinically, it is important to look at whether this drug works in patients with allergic disease,” he told MedPage Today. “We have other treatments for these patients, such as anti-IgE therapies, but the more options we have the better.” 

New perspectives of childhood asthma treatment with biologics 

Role of neutrophils in allergic asthma 

Real-world safety and efficacy of omalizumab in patients with severe allergic asthma: A long-term post-marketing study in Japan 

Guidance for Identifying Severe Asthma 

SourcesMedPage Today, Advances in Therapy