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Sanofi SA and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc Announce Positive Phase 2a Results of Dupilumab in Asthma

Tuesday, 21 May 2013 08:15am EDT 

Sanofi SA and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc announced that the New England Journal of Medicine published online the positive Phase 2a study results of dupilumab in patients with moderate-to-severe allergic asthma. Dupilumab is an investigational monoclonal antibody targeting the alpha subunit of the interleukin 4 receptor (IL-4R alpha), which modulates signaling of both IL-4 and IL-13, drivers of Th2 (Type 2 helper T cell) immune response. The proof-of-concept study enrolled 104 patients with moderate-to-severe, persistent asthma that was not well controlled with inhaled glucocorticosteroids (ICS) and long-acting beta agonist (LABA) therapy, and who had elevated blood or sputum eosinophils (immune cells used as a marker of Th2 asthma in this study). The primary objective of the trial was to assess the effect of dupilumab, dosed subcutaneously, weekly at 300 milligrams (mg) for twelve weeks. Patients were treated with dupilumab (N=52) or placebo (N=52) on top of ICS and LABA therapy for the first four weeks of the study. 23 patients (44.2%) receiving placebo experienced an asthma exacerbation compared to three patients (5.8%) receiving dupilumab, resulting in an 87% reduction in the incidence of asthma exacerbations for the dupilumab arm compared to placebo (p<0.0001). Improvements were observed for lung function and other asthma control parameters, such as forced expiratory volume over one second.