Publications by authors named "Stephanie Korn"

49 Publications

Switch from IL-5 to IL-5-Receptor α Antibody Treatment in Severe Eosinophilic Asthma.

J Asthma Allergy 2020 11;13:605-614. Epub 2020 Nov 11.

Department of Respiratory Medicine, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.

Background: Anti-IL-5 antibodies represent an established therapy for severe eosinophilic asthma (SEA), but some patients show inadequate response. The objective of this study was to assess the effects of a switch to anti-IL-5Rα therapy in patients with inadequate response to anti-IL-5 therapy.

Methods: In this retrospective multi-centre, real-life study, we analysed all SEA patients switched from anti-IL-5 to anti-IL-5Rα therapy due to inadequate response or intolerability. Pulmonary function tests, blood gas analyses, asthma control tests (ACT) and oral corticosteroid (OCS) usage were analysed and compared at three timepoints: baseline (BL, before anti-IL-5 therapy), timepoint 1 (T1, under anti-IL-5 therapy) and timepoint 2 (T2, under anti-IL-5Rα therapy).

Results: Of 665 patients treated with anti-IL-5 antibodies, 70 were switched to anti-IL-5Rα and 60 were included in the analysis. Median treatment duration was 8 months [IQR 5; 15] for anti-IL-5 and 5 months [IQR 4; 6] for anti-IL-5Rα therapy. FEV was 61% of predicted at BL [IQR 41; 74], 61% [IQR 43; 79] at T1 and 68% [IQR 49; 87] at T2 (p=0.011). ACT score was 10 [IQR 8; 13], 16 [IQR 10; 19] and 19 [IQR 14; 22], respectively (both p<0.001). The number of patients requiring OCS was reduced from 41 (BL) to 32 (T1) and 19 (T2) (both p<0.001). Ten patients discontinued anti-IL-5Rα therapy due to insufficient efficacy (n=7) and adverse events (n=3).

Conclusion: Switching from anti-IL-5 to anti-IL-5Rα therapy in patients with inadequate response was associated with significantly improved FEV, asthma control and OCS reduction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/JAA.S270298DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7667509PMC
November 2020

A Non-Interventional Study of Tiotropium/Olodaterol versus Any Triple Combination Therapy for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: The EVELUT Study Protocol.

Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis 2020 22;15:2601-2608. Epub 2020 Oct 22.

Department of Pneumology, University Hospital of Giessen and Marburg, Member of the German Center for Lung Research (DZL), Marburg, Germany.

Background: The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease 2020 report recommends that patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) suffering from persistent dyspnea, despite long-acting β-agonist (LABA)/inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) maintenance therapy, are switched to either a long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA)/LABA combination regimen or LAMA/LABA/ICS triple therapy. However, to date, no studies have investigated the direct switch from LABA/ICS to LAMA/LABA therapy-instead of switching to triple therapy-in a prospective, real-world, non-interventional setting.

Methods: EVELUT (NCT03954132) is an ongoing, prospective, open-label, multicenter, non-interventional study comparing the once-daily fixed-dose combination of tiotropium and olodaterol (tio/olo) versus any triple therapy (LAMA/LABA/ICS) in patients with COPD who are symptomatic despite LABA/ICS maintenance therapy. Patients with acute or frequent COPD exacerbations are excluded from the study. Participants will receive LABA/ICS maintenance treatment until Visit 1, followed by switching of treatment to tio/olo or LAMA/LABA/ICS. The primary endpoints are changes in modified Medical Research Council (mMRC) and COPD Assessment Test (CAT) scores after approximately 12 weeks of treatment. Secondary endpoints are change in the patients' general condition according to the Physician's Global Evaluation score, the proportion of responders with a change in mMRC score of ≥1 and in CAT score of ≥2, and patient satisfaction with the inhaler and therapy. The study is expected to enroll approximately 900 patients.

Conclusion: EVELUT results are expected to add to the current real-world evidence informing therapeutic decisions for COPD in everyday clinical practice.

Trial Registration: The European Union electronic Register of Post-authorisation Studies (EU PAS Register): EUPAS29784; the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM): NIS Study No 7305; Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT03954132.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S262746DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7591229PMC
October 2020

Use of biologicals in allergic and type-2 inflammatory diseases during the current COVID-19 pandemic: Position paper of Ärzteverband Deutscher Allergologen (AeDA), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Allergologie und Klinische Immunologie (DGAKI), Gesellschaft für Pädiatrische Allergologie und Umweltmedizin (GPA), Österreichische Gesellschaft für Allergologie und Immunologie (ÖGAI), Luxemburgische Gesellschaft für Allergologie und Immunologie (LGAI), Österreichische Gesellschaft für Pneumologie (ÖGP) in co-operation with the German, Austrian, and Swiss ARIA groups, and the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI).

Authors:
Ludger Klimek Oliver Pfaar Margitta Worm Thomas Eiwegger Jan Hagemann Markus Ollert Eva Untersmayr Karin Hoffmann-Sommergruber Alessandra Vultaggio Ioana Agache Sevim Bavbek Apostolos Bossios Ingrid Casper Susan Chan Alexia Chatzipetrou Christian Vogelberg Davide Firinu Paula Kauppi Antonios Kolios Akash Kothari Andrea Matucci Oscar Palomares Zsolt Szépfalusi Wolfgang Pohl Wolfram Hötzenecker Alexander R Rosenkranz Karl-Christian Bergmann Thomas Bieber Roland Buhl Jeroen Buters Ulf Darsow Thomas Keil Jörg Kleine-Tebbe Susanne Lau Marcus Maurer Hans Merk Ralph Mösges Joachim Saloga Petra Staubach Uta Jappe Klaus F Rabe Uta Rabe Claus Vogelmeier Tilo Biedermann Kirsten Jung Wolfgang Schlenter Johannes Ring Adam Chaker Wolfgang Wehrmann Sven Becker Laura Freudelsperger Norbert Mülleneisen Katja Nemat Wolfgang Czech Holger Wrede Randolf Brehler Thomas Fuchs Peter-Valentin Tomazic Werner Aberer Antje-Henriette Fink-Wagner Fritz Horak Stefan Wöhrl Verena Niederberger-Leppin Isabella Pali-Schöll Wolfgang Pohl Regina Roller-Wirnsberger Otto Spranger Rudolf Valenta Mübecell Akdis Paolo M Matricardi François Spertini Nicolai Khaltaev Jean-Pierre Michel Larent Nicod Peter Schmid-Grendelmeier Marco Idzko Eckard Hamelmann Thilo Jakob Thomas Werfel Martin Wagenmann Christian Taube Erika Jensen-Jarolim Stephanie Korn Francois Hentges Jürgen Schwarze Liam O Mahony Edward F Knol Stefano Del Giacco Tomás Chivato Pérez Jean Bousquet Anna Bedbrook Torsten Zuberbier Cezmi Akdis Marek Jutel

Allergol Select 2020 7;4:53-68. Epub 2020 Sep 7.

European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI).

Background: Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the treatment of patients with allergic and atopy-associated diseases has faced major challenges. Recommendations for "social distancing" and the fear of patients becoming infected during a visit to a medical facility have led to a drastic decrease in personal doctor-patient contacts. This affects both acute care and treatment of the chronically ill. The immune response after SARS-CoV-2 infection is so far only insufficiently understood and could be altered in a favorable or unfavorable way by therapy with monoclonal antibodies. There is currently no evidence for an increased risk of a severe COVID-19 course in allergic patients. Many patients are under ongoing therapy with biologicals that inhibit type 2 immune responses via various mechanisms. There is uncertainty about possible immunological interactions and potential risks of these biologicals in the case of an infection with SARS-CoV-2.

Materials And Methods: A selective literature search was carried out in PubMed, Livivo, and the internet to cover the past 10 years (May 2010 - April 2020). Additionally, the current German-language publications were analyzed. Based on these data, the present position paper provides recommendations for the biological treatment of patients with allergic and atopy-associated diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Results: In order to maintain in-office consultation services, a safe treatment environment must be created that is adapted to the pandemic situation. To date, there is a lack of reliable study data on the care for patients with complex respiratory, atopic, and allergic diseases in times of an imminent infection risk from SARS-CoV-2. Type-2-dominant immune reactions, as they are frequently seen in allergic patients, could influence various phases of COVID-19, e.g., by slowing down the immune reactions. Theoretically, this could have an unfavorable effect in the early phase of a SARS-Cov-2 infection, but also a positive effect during a cytokine storm in the later phase of severe courses. However, since there is currently no evidence for this, all data from patients treated with a biological directed against type 2 immune reactions who develop COVID-19 should be collected in registries, and their disease courses documented in order to be able to provide experience-based instructions in the future.

Conclusion: The use of biologicals for the treatment of bronchial asthma, atopic dermatitis, chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps, and spontaneous urticaria should be continued as usual in patients without suspected infection or proven SARS-CoV-2 infection. If available, it is recommended to prefer a formulation for self-application and to offer telemedical monitoring. Treatment should aim at the best possible control of difficult-to-control allergic and atopic diseases using adequate rescue and add-on therapy and should avoid the need for systemic glucocorticosteroids. If SARS-CoV-2 infection is proven or reasonably suspected, the therapy should be determined by weighing the benefits and risks individually for the patient in question, and the patient should be involved in the decision-making. It should be kept in mind that the potential effects of biologicals on the immune response in COVID-19 are currently not known. Telemedical offers are particularly desirable for the acute consultation needs of suitable patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5414/ALX02166EDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7480069PMC
September 2020

The Treatment of Mild and Moderate Asthma in Adults.

Dtsch Arztebl Int 2020 06;117(25):434-444

Department of Pneumology/Interdis ciplinary Intensive Care Unit, University of Rostock; Department of Internal Medicine III (Hematology, Oncology, Pneumology), University Medical Center, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.

Background: Asthma is a chronic inflammatory airway disease that usually causes variable airway obstruction. It affects 5-10% of the German population.

Methods: This review is based on relevant publications retrieved by a selective search, as well as on national and international guidelines on the treatment of mild and moderate asthma in adults.

Results: The goal of treatment is to attain optimal asthma control with a minimal risk of exacerbations and mortality, loss of pulmonary function, and drug side effects. This can be achieved with a combination of pharmacotherapy and non-drug treatment including patient education, exercise, smoking cessation, and rehabilitation. Pharmacohterapy is based on inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) and bronchodilators. It is recommended that mild asthma should be treated only when needed, either with a fixed combination of ICS and formoterol or with short-acting bronchodilators. For moderate asthma, maintenance treatment is recommended, with an inhaled fixed combinations of ICS and long-acting beta-mimetics, possibly supplemented with longacting anticholinergic agents. Allergen immunotherapy, i.e., desensitization treatment, should be considered if the allergic component of asthma is well documented and the patient is not suffering from uncontrolled asthma. Asthma control should be monitored at regular intervals, and the treatment should be adapted accordingly.

Conclusion: The treatment of asthma in adults should be individually tailored, with anti-inflammatory treatment as its main component.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3238/arztebl.2020.0434DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7490458PMC
June 2020

Anwendung von Biologika bei allergischen und Typ-2-entzündlichen Erkrankungen in der aktuellen Covid-19-Pandemie: Positionspapier des Ärzteverbands Deutscher Allergologen (AeDA)A, der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Allergologie und klinische Immunologie (DGAKI)B, der Gesellschaft für Pädiatrische Allergologie und Umweltmedizin (GPA)C, der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Allergologie und Immunologie (ÖGAI)D, der Luxemburgischen Gesellschaft für Allergologie und Immunologie (LGAI)E, der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Pneumologie (ÖGP)F in Kooperation mit der deutschen, österreichischen, und schweizerischen ARIA-GruppeG und der Europäischen Akademie für Allergologie und Klinische Immunologie (EAACI)H.

Allergo J 2020 24;29(4):14-27. Epub 2020 Jun 24.

Zentrum für Rhinologie & Allergologie, An den Quellen 10, 65183 Wiesbaden, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s15007-020-2553-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7289636PMC
June 2020

Prospective, Single-Arm, Longitudinal Study of Biomarkers in Real-World Patients with Severe Asthma.

J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract 2020 09 15;8(8):2630-2639.e6. Epub 2020 Apr 15.

Airways Clinical Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.

Background: ARIETTA was a prospective, single-arm, noninterventional, multicenter study in patients with severe asthma.

Objective: To examine the predictive and prognostic abilities of type 2 biomarkers for severe asthma outcomes.

Methods: Adult patients with severe asthma receiving daily inhaled corticosteroids (fluticasone propionate ≥500 μg or equivalent) and ≥1 second controller medication were enrolled. Biomarker, clinical, and safety data were collected over 52 weeks. The primary endpoint was the asthma exacerbation rate over 52 weeks in serum periostin-high (≥50 ng/mL at baseline) versus periostin-low subgroups (<50 ng/mL). Correlations between biomarker levels (periostin, blood eosinophils, IgE, and fractional exhaled nitric oxide [FeNO]) and between central and local laboratory measurements (blood eosinophils and IgE) were assessed. The study was terminated before planned enrollment was completed.

Results: Of 465 patients, 66.5% were female, 13.3% were receiving oral corticosteroids, 42.4% had ≥1 exacerbation in the previous year, 52.0% were periostin-high, and 87.5% had type 2 inflammation (blood eosinophils ≥150 cells/μL and/or FeNO ≥25 ppb and/or positive skin allergen test). Biomarker levels correlated poorly with each other. Central and local laboratory blood eosinophil and IgE measurements generally agreed. No difference was observed in exacerbation rates over 52 weeks between periostin-high and periostin-low patients (rate ratio, 0.93; 95% confidence interval, 0.67-1.28; P = .642). Results suggested higher exacerbation rates in patients with blood eosinophils ≥300 cells/μL and FeNO ≥25 ppb.

Conclusions: No prognostic value for serum periostin related to exacerbations was detected. Higher blood eosinophils combined with increased FeNO were potentially associated with increased exacerbation rates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaip.2020.03.038DOI Listing
September 2020

Safety of Eosinophil-Depleting Therapy for Severe, Eosinophilic Asthma: Focus on Benralizumab.

Drug Saf 2020 05;43(5):409-425

Global Medical Affairs, BioPharmaceuticals Medical, AstraZeneca, One MedImmune Way, Gaithersburg, MD, 20878, USA.

Eosinophils play a pivotal role in the inflammatory pathology of asthma and have been the target of new biologic treatments for patients with eosinophilic asthma. Given the central role of interleukin (IL)-5 in the eosinophil lifecycle, several therapies directed against the IL-5 pathway have been developed, including the anti-IL-5 antibodies mepolizumab and reslizumab and the IL-5 receptor α (IL-5Rα)-directed cytolytic antibody benralizumab. Eosinophil-depleting therapies represent a relatively new class of asthma treatment, and it is important to understand their long-term efficacy and safety. Eosinophils have been associated with host protection and tumor growth, raising potential concerns about the consequences of long-term therapies that deplete eosinophils. However, evidence for these associations in humans is conflicting and largely indirect or based on mouse models. Substantial prospective clinical trial and postmarketing data have accrued, providing insight into the potential risks associated with eosinophil depletion. In this review, we explore the current safety profile of eosinophil-reducing therapies, with particular attention to the potential risks of malignancies and severe infections and a focus on benralizumab. Benralizumab is an IL-5Rα-directed cytolytic monoclonal antibody that targets and efficiently depletes blood and tissue eosinophils through antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity. Benralizumab is intended to treat patients with severe, uncontrolled asthma with eosinophilic inflammation. The integrated analyses of benralizumab safety data from the phase III SIROCCO and CALIMA trials and subsequent BORA extension trial for patients with asthma, and the phase III GALATHEA and TERRANOVA trials for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, form the principal basis for this review.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40264-020-00926-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7165132PMC
May 2020

Onset of Effect, Changes in Airflow Obstruction and Lung Volume, and Health-Related Quality of Life Improvements with Benralizumab for Patients with Severe Eosinophilic Asthma: Phase IIIb Randomized, Controlled Trial (SOLANA).

J Asthma Allergy 2020 17;13:115-126. Epub 2020 Feb 17.

Research and Development, AstraZeneca, Gaithersburg, MD, USA.

Objective: In the SOLANA trial, we sought to physiologically characterize benralizumab's onset of effect and maintenance of that effect for patients with severe eosinophilic asthma.

Methods: SOLANA (NCT02869438) was a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled, Phase IIIb study conducted at 49 centers in six countries (Chile, Germany, Hungary, the Philippines, South Korea, and the United States). Eligible patients with baseline blood eosinophil counts ≥300 cells/µL were randomized to subcutaneous benralizumab (30 mg) or placebo administered at Days 0, 28, and 56. The primary endpoint was the average change from baseline in prebronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 s (pre-BD FEV) during the Day 28‒Day 84 period for benralizumab vs placebo. Secondary endpoints included patient-reported outcomes (PROs). A subset of patients participated in a whole-body plethysmography substudy. Safety was also assessed.

Results: In total, 233 patients were randomized to benralizumab (n=118) or placebo (n=115). Improvement from baseline in pre-BD FEV with benralizumab 30 mg was not statistically significant compared with placebo (least-squares mean change difference [95% confidence interval] 57 mL [-22 to 135]; p=0.16). Compared with placebo, benralizumab demonstrated early (Day 7) nonstatistically significant improvements in whole-body plethysmography assessments of hyperinflation and clinically meaningful improvements in PRO measures (Asthma Control Questionnaire 6 at Day 14 and St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire at Day 28), which were maintained over the treatment period. Benralizumab's safety profile was commensurate with previously reported studies.

Conclusion: The observed early changes in lung volume despite relatively small improvements in airflow obstruction suggest that the anti-inflammatory effect of benralizumab may be manifested as deflation over time for patients with hyperinflation, who potentially have a greater degree of airway remodeling. This early effect could partially explain the rapid PRO improvements observed for certain patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/JAA.S240044DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7034961PMC
February 2020

Age- and sex-dependent differences in patients with severe asthma included in the German Asthma Net cohort.

Respir Med 2020 02 3;162:105858. Epub 2020 Jan 3.

Department of Pneumologie, Hannover Medical School, Member of the German Center for Lung Research (DZL), Germany. Electronic address:

Background: Severe asthma affects less than 5% of asthmatics, but is associated with high costs and increased mortality. The aim of this study was to assess age- and sex-dependent differences in this patient group.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of 1317 children and adults with severe asthma who are included in the German Asthma Net registry.

Results: There were more adults than children in the registry and patients' mean age was 52. Apart from children <18 years, there were more women (57%) than men. The age of first diagnosis ranged from 0 to 76 years. 38% of patients had a positive bronchial reversibility after short acting bronchodilators. Quality of life, FEV1 and MEF 25 decreased with older age whereas treatment with oral steroids and monoclonal antibodies increased. An anti-eosinophil treatment was most frequently used in patients aged around 57 years, while an anti-IgE treatment was used in all age-groups including children. There were sex-dependent differences with lower values in men for FEV1, FVC, MEF 25 and DLCO. Yet, women were more frequently unable to work than men due to the disease.

Conclusion: In patients with severe asthma, clinical characteristics, but also treatments differed between age groups and between the sexes, reflecting different phenotypes of the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rmed.2019.105858DOI Listing
February 2020

Reply to the Letter Entitled "FeNO Variability when Using Different Analyzers at the Joint ATS/ERS Guideline Cutoff".

Respiration 2020 11;99(1):94. Epub 2019 Dec 11.

Pulmonary Department, Mainz University Hospital, Mainz, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000504631DOI Listing
June 2020

Characteristics and treatment regimens across ERS SHARP severe asthma registries.

Eur Respir J 2020 01 9;55(1). Epub 2020 Jan 9.

NIHR Southampton Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.

Little is known about the characteristics and treatments of patients with severe asthma across Europe, but both are likely to vary. This is the first study in the European Respiratory Society Severe Heterogeneous Asthma Research collaboration, Patient-centred (SHARP) Clinical Research Collaboration and it is designed to explore these variations. Therefore, we aimed to compare characteristics of patients in European severe asthma registries and treatments before starting biologicals.This was a cross-sectional retrospective analysis of aggregated data from 11 national severe asthma registries that joined SHARP with established patient databases.Analysis of data from 3236 patients showed many differences in characteristics and lifestyle factors. Current smokers ranged from 0% (Poland and Sweden) to 9.5% (Belgium), mean body mass index ranged from 26.2 (Italy) to 30.6 kg·m (the UK) and the largest difference in mean pre-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 s % predicted was 20.9% (the Netherlands Hungary). Before starting biologicals patients were treated differently between countries: mean inhaled corticosteroid dose ranged from 700 to 1335 µg·day between those from Slovenia Poland when starting anti-interleukin (IL)-5 antibody and from 772 to 1344 µg·day in those starting anti-IgE (Slovenia Spain). Maintenance oral corticosteroid use ranged from 21.0% (Belgium) to 63.0% (Sweden) and from 9.1% (Denmark) to 56.1% (the UK) in patients starting anti-IL-5 and anti-IgE, respectively.The severe asthmatic population in Europe is heterogeneous and differs in both clinical characteristics and treatment, often appearing not to comply with the current European Respiratory Society/American Thoracic Society guidelines definition of severe asthma. Treatment regimens before starting biologicals were different from inclusion criteria in clinical trials and varied between countries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1183/13993003.01163-2019DOI Listing
January 2020

Long-term Safety and Clinical Benefit of Mepolizumab in Patients With the Most Severe Eosinophilic Asthma: The COSMEX Study.

Clin Ther 2019 10 22;41(10):2041-2056.e5. Epub 2019 Aug 22.

Assistance Publique -Hôpitaux de Paris, Service de Pneumologie, Hôpital Bicêtre, Paris, France; Univ. Paris-Sud, Université Paris-Saclay, Paris, France; INSERM U999, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, Paris, France.

Purpose: The goal of this study was to assess the long-term safety and efficacy of mepolizumab in patients with the most severe eosinophilic asthma.

Methods: This multicenter, open-label, long-term, Phase IIIb study (COSMEX [COSMOS Extension]; 201312/NCT02135692) enrolled patients from the 52-week, open-label extension study COSMOS (A Study to Determine Long-term Safety of Mepolizumab in Asthmatic Subjects) that previously enrolled patients from the double-blinded, placebo-controlled Phase III studies MENSA (Mepolizumab as Adjunctive Therapy in Patients with Severe Asthma) and SIRIUS (Steroid Reduction with Mepolizumab Study). To enter COSMEX, patients had to have life-threatening/seriously debilitating asthma before entering MENSA or SIRIUS and to have completed these previous studies with demonstrated improvement while receiving mepolizumab. In COSMEX, patients received mepolizumab 100 mg subcutaneously every 4 weeks as add-on therapy for up to 172 weeks. Primary endpoints were adverse event frequency and exacerbation rate per year; also assessed were forced expiratory volume in 1 s, Asthma Control Questionnaire-5 score, and daily oral corticosteroid (OCS) use.

Findings: Of the 340 patients enrolled, 339 received mepolizumab; median treatment duration within this extension study was 2.2 years, equating to 718 patient-years of additional exposure. No new safety signals were identified. Patients receiving mepolizumab throughout this study and previous studies had lasting reductions in exacerbation rate and daily OCS use and improvements in forced expiratory volume in 1 s and Asthma Control Questionnaire-5 score. In COSMEX, the on-treatment exacerbation rate (95% CI) was 0.93 (0.81-1.06) event/year for clinically significant exacerbations, 0.13 (0.10-0.18) event/year for exacerbations requiring hospitalization/emergency department visit, and 0.07 (0.05-0.10) event/year for exacerbations requiring hospitalization. In patients requiring systemic/oral corticosteroids with ≥128 weeks of continuous enrollment across SIRIUS, COSMOS, and COSMEX, mepolizumab maintained the median daily OCS dose at 1.3-2.8 mg during COSMEX, with additional patients no longer requiring OCS after extended mepolizumab treatment.

Implications: This study indicates that long-term mepolizumab treatment is well tolerated and associated with sustained clinical benefits in patients with severe eosinophilic asthma. ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02135692.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clinthera.2019.07.007DOI Listing
October 2019

Measurement of Fractional Exhaled Nitric Oxide: Comparison of Three Different Analysers.

Respiration 2020 9;99(1):1-8. Epub 2019 Jul 9.

Department of Pulmonary, Mainz University Hospital, Mainz, Germany.

Background: Fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) is a surrogate marker for airway inflammation, supporting the diagnostic pathway and treatment decisions for asthma patients.

Objectives: Aim of this study was to compare the new analyser Vivatmo pro (Bosch, BV) with NIOX VERO (Circassia, CN) and CLD (Ecomedics, EC).

Methods: In 100 asthmatics (median 53 years [range 20-87], 62% female, 86% on inhaled corticosteroids [mean 1,300 μg beclomethasone dipropionate or equivalent], 35% treated with biologics) 2 FeNO measurements per device were performed. Additionally, the success rate to achieve a valid NO value was evaluated.

Results: Sixty-eight percent of the patients had FeNO values below 50 ppb. Median NO concentrations were 31 ppb (range 6-194) for BV, 33 ppb (9-164) for CN and 31ppb (7-353) for EC. Bland-Altman plots suggested an agreement within the predefined limits of ±5 ppb for all analysers within the therapeutically relevant range (0-70 ppb). The highest agreement in FeNO levels were between BV and EC with mean differences of -0.26 (95% CI -1.48 to 0.95) vs. 1.52 (95% CI 0.4-2.6) ppb for CN and EC. The results indicate an equivalence of the methods (two-one sided t test-equivalence test: p < 0.0001, ±5 ppb margins). Acceptance of the measurements was high for all devices (97%). The highest success rate to obtain 2 valid NO values without failed attempts was achieved with the BV analyser (73 vs. 62% for the CN analyser and 46% for the EC analyser).

Conclusions: For the range between 0 and 70 ppb, FeNO concentrations measured with all 3 devices were statistically equivalent within predefined acceptance criteria and did not differ in a clinically relevant way.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000500727DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6979424PMC
April 2021

Tralokinumab did not demonstrate oral corticosteroid-sparing effects in severe asthma.

Eur Respir J 2019 02 31;53(2). Epub 2019 Jan 31.

AstraZeneca, Gaithersburg, MD, USA.

Long-term oral corticosteroid (OCS) use in patients with severe asthma is associated with significant adverse effects.This 40-week, randomised, double-blind trial evaluated the OCS-sparing potential of tralokinumab in patients with severe, uncontrolled asthma requiring maintenance OCS treatment plus inhaled corticosteroids/long-acting β-agonists. Overall, 140 patients were randomised to tralokinumab 300 mg or placebo (n=70 in each group) administered subcutaneously every 2 weeks. The primary end-point was percentage change from baseline in average OCS dose at week 40, while maintaining asthma control. Secondary end-points included proportion of patients with a prescribed maintenance OCS dose of ≤5 mg, those with a ≥50% reduction in prescribed maintenance OCS dose and asthma exacerbation rate. Safety was also assessed.At week 40, the percentage reduction from baseline in the final daily average OCS dose was not significantly different between tralokinumab and placebo (37.62% 29.85%; p=0.271). There were no significant between-treatment differences for any secondary end-point. Overall, reporting of adverse events and serious adverse events were similar for the tralokinumab and placebo groups. Although a greater proportion of tralokinumab-treated patients reported upper respiratory tract infections (35.7% 14.3%), there were no reported cases of pneumonia.Overall, tralokinumab did not demonstrate an OCS-sparing effect in patients with severe asthma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1183/13993003.00948-2018DOI Listing
February 2019

Effects of Reslizumab on Asthma Outcomes in a Subgroup of Eosinophilic Asthma Patients with Self-Reported Chronic Rhinosinusitis with Nasal Polyps.

J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract 2019 02 5;7(2):589-596.e3. Epub 2018 Sep 5.

Global Respiratory R&D, Teva Branded Pharmaceutical Products R&D Inc., Malvern, Pa.

Background: An estimated 7% of patients with asthma have chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP), and more than 80% have at least some radiographic evidence of sinonasal inflammation. Aspirin sensitivity is strongly associated with elevated blood eosinophil levels and increased asthma severity. Intravenous (IV) reslizumab has been shown to improve asthma control in patients with nasal polyps.

Objective: These post hoc analyses of pooled data from 2 BREATH phase 3 clinical trials, studies 1 and 2 (NCT01287039 and NCT01285323), examined asthma-related outcomes in patients with comorbid, self-reported CRSwNP with and without aspirin sensitivity.

Methods: Patients aged 12-75 years with elevated blood eosinophils (≥400 cells/μL) and inadequately controlled asthma were randomized to receive placebo or reslizumab (3 mg/kg IV) every 4 weeks for 52 weeks. Patients continued their background asthma maintenance therapy during the study. Information regarding the presence of CRSwNP was obtained through patient-reported medical history.

Results: Add-on reslizumab treatment reduced the frequency of clinical asthma exacerbations by 83% versus placebo among patients with CRSwNP. Among patients with and without aspirin sensitivity, reductions of 79% and 84%, respectively, were observed. Patients with CRSwNP (with and without aspirin sensitivity) treated with reslizumab add-on therapy also had significant improvements in lung function, as measured by forced expiratory volume in 1 second, compared with placebo. Among patients with CRSwNP, reslizumab was also associated with improvements in patient-reported asthma control and asthma quality of life.

Conclusions: Patients with eosinophilic asthma and self-reported CRSwNP, with and without aspirin sensitivity, are highly responsive to treatment with reslizumab for asthma-related outcomes. These findings suggest that prospective investigation of reslizumab in this patient population is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaip.2018.08.021DOI Listing
February 2019

Mepolizumab for Eosinophilic Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

N Engl J Med 2017 10 11;377(17):1613-1629. Epub 2017 Sep 11.

From the Respiratory Medicine Unit and Oxford Respiratory Biomedical Research Centre, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford (I.D.P.), and Clinical Statistics, GlaxoSmithKline, Uxbridge (B.M.) - both in the United Kingdom; the Department of Respiratory Medicine and CIC Nord, Aix-Marseille University, Marseille, France (P.C.); the Department of Thoracic Medicine and Surgery, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, Philadelphia (G.J.C.); the Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Tuberculosis, University of Groningen and University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands (H.A.M.K.); the Pulmonary Department, Mainz University Hospital, Mainz, Germany (S.K.); the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine, Duke University, Durham (N.L.), and the Respiratory Medical Franchise (F.C.A.) and the Respiratory Therapeutic Area (E.S.B., S.S.H., D.B.R., S.W.Y.), GlaxoSmithKline, Research Triangle Park - all in North Carolina; the Department of Pneumology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire-Université Catholique de Louvain, Namur, Namur, Belgium (J.-B.M.); the Division of Allergology and Respiratory Medicine, Showa University School of Medicine, Tokyo (H.S.); and the Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh (F.C.S.).

Background: Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with an eosinophilic phenotype may benefit from treatment with mepolizumab, a monoclonal antibody directed against interleukin-5.

Methods: We performed two phase 3, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel-group trials comparing mepolizumab (100 mg in METREX, 100 or 300 mg in METREO) with placebo, given as a subcutaneous injection every 4 weeks for 52 weeks in patients with COPD who had a history of moderate or severe exacerbations while taking inhaled glucocorticoid-based triple maintenance therapy. In METREX, unselected patients in the modified intention-to-treat population with an eosinophilic phenotype were stratified according to blood eosinophil count (≥150 per cubic millimeter at screening or ≥300 per cubic millimeter during the previous year). In METREO, all patients had a blood eosinophil count of at least 150 per cubic millimeter at screening or at least 300 per cubic millimeter during the previous year. The primary end point was the annual rate of moderate or severe exacerbations. Safety was also assessed.

Results: In METREX, the mean annual rate of moderate or severe exacerbations in the modified intention-to-treat population with an eosinophilic phenotype (462 patients) was 1.40 per year in the mepolizumab group versus 1.71 per year in the placebo group (rate ratio, 0.82; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.68 to 0.98; adjusted P=0.04); no significant between-group differences were found in the overall modified intention-to-treat population (836 patients) (rate ratio, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.85 to 1.12; adjusted P>0.99). In METREO, the mean annual rate of moderate or severe exacerbations was 1.19 per year in the 100-mg mepolizumab group, 1.27 per year in the 300-mg mepolizumab group, and 1.49 per year in the placebo group. The rate ratios for exacerbations in the 100-mg and 300-mg mepolizumab groups versus the placebo group were 0.80 (95% CI, 0.65 to 0.98; adjusted P=0.07) and 0.86 (95% CI, 0.70 to 1.05; adjusted P=0.14), respectively. A greater effect of mepolizumab, as compared with placebo, on the annual rate of moderate or severe exacerbations was found among patients with higher blood eosinophil counts at screening. The safety profile of mepolizumab was similar to that of placebo.

Conclusions: Mepolizumab at a dose of 100 mg was associated with a lower annual rate of moderate or severe exacerbations than placebo among patients with COPD and an eosinophilic phenotype. This finding suggests that eosinophilic airway inflammation contributes to COPD exacerbations. (Funded by GlaxoSmithKline; METREX and METREO ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT02105948 and NCT02105961 .).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1708208DOI Listing
October 2017

Benralizumab, an anti-interleukin-5 receptor α monoclonal antibody, as add-on treatment for patients with severe, uncontrolled, eosinophilic asthma (CALIMA): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 3 trial.

Lancet 2016 10 5;388(10056):2128-2141. Epub 2016 Sep 5.

AstraZeneca, Gaithersburg, MD, USA.

Background: Benralizumab is a humanised, afucosylated, anti-interleukin-5 receptor α monoclonal antibody that induces direct, rapid, and nearly complete depletion of eosinophils. We aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of benralizumab as add-on therapy for patients with severe, uncontrolled asthma and elevated blood eosinophil counts.

Methods: In this randomised, double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled, phase 3 study (CALIMA) undertaken at 303 sites in 11 countries, we enrolled patients aged 12-75 years with severe asthma uncontrolled by medium-dosage to high-dosage inhaled corticosteroids plus long-acting β₂-agonists (ICS plus LABA) and a history of two or more exacerbations in the previous year. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1:1) to receive 56 weeks of benralizumab 30 mg every 4 weeks (Q4W), benralizumab 30 mg every 8 weeks (Q8W; first three doses 4 weeks apart), or placebo (all subcutaneous injection). Patients were stratified (2:1) by baseline blood eosinophil counts 300 cells per μL or greater and less than 300 cells per μL, respectively. Patients and study centre staff were masked to treatment allocation. The primary endpoint was annual exacerbation rate ratio versus placebo for patients receiving high-dosage ICS plus LABA with baseline blood eosinophils 300 cells per μL or greater (intention-to-treat analysis). Key secondary endpoints were pre-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV) and total asthma symptom score. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01914757.

Findings: Between Aug 21, 2013, and March 16, 2015, 2505 patients were enrolled, of whom 1306 patients were randomised; 425 patients were randomly assigned to and received benralizumab 30 mg Q4W, 441 to benralizumab 30 mg Q8W, and 440 to placebo. 728 patients were included in the primary analysis population. Benralizumab resulted in significantly lower annual exacerbation rates with the Q4W regimen (rate 0·60 [95% CI 0·48-0·74], rate ratio 0·64 [95% CI 0·49-0·85], p=0·0018, n=241) and Q8W regimen (rate 0·66 [95% CI 0·54-0·82], rate ratio 0·72 [95% CI 0·54-0·95], p=0·0188, n=239) compared with placebo (rate 0·93 [95% CI 0·77-1·12], n=248). Benralizumab also significantly improved pre-bronchodilator FEV (Q4W and Q8W) and total asthma symptom score (Q8W only) in these patients. The most common adverse events were nasopharyngitis (90 [21%] in the Q4W group, 79 [18%] in the Q8W group, and 92 [21%] in the placebo group) and worsening asthma (61 [14%] in the Q4W group, 47 [11%] in the Q8W group, and 68 [15%] in the group).

Interpretation: Benralizumab significantly reduced annual exacerbation rates and was generally well tolerated for patients with severe, uncontrolled asthma with blood eosinophils 300 cells per μL or greater. Our data further refine the patient population likely to receive the greatest benefit from benralizumab treatment.

Funding: AstraZeneca and Kyowa Hakko Kirin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31322-8DOI Listing
October 2016

Assessing biomarkers in a real-world severe asthma study (ARIETTA).

Respir Med 2016 06 14;115:7-12. Epub 2016 Apr 14.

Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, United States.

The prognostic value of asthma biomarkers in routine clinical practice is not fully understood. ARIETTA (NCT02537691) is an ongoing, prospective, longitudinal, international, multicentre real-world study designed to assess the relationship between asthma biomarkers and disease-related health outcomes. The trial aims to enrol and follow for 52 weeks approximately 1200 severe asthma patients from approximately 160 sites in more than 20 countries. Severe asthmatics, treated with daily inhaled corticosteroid (≥500 μg of fluticasone propionate or equivalent) and at least 1 second controller medication are to be included. In this real-world study, patients will be treated according to the investigator's routine clinical practices and no treatment regimen will be implemented as part of the trial. At baseline and again at 26 and 52 weeks, FEV1, FeNO, serum periostin, blood eosinophil count and serum IgE will be measured. Asthma-related symptom and quality of life questionnaires will be administered at the visits and during telephone interviews at Weeks 13 and 39. Data about medication use, asthma exacerbation data, asthma-related healthcare utilization and events raising safety concerns will also be collected. This study design, unique in both its scope and scale, will address fundamental unanswered questions regarding asthma biomarkers and their interrelationship, as well as predict deviations in the course of asthma in a real-world setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rmed.2016.04.001DOI Listing
June 2016

The German COPD cohort COSYCONET: Aims, methods and descriptive analysis of the study population at baseline.

Respir Med 2016 05 11;114:27-37. Epub 2016 Mar 11.

Institute and Outpatient Clinic for Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Ziemssenstr. 1, 80336 Munich, Germany. Electronic address:

Background: The German COPD cohort study COSYCONET ("COPD and SYstemic consequences-COmorbidities NETwork") investigates the interaction of lung disease, comorbidities and systemic inflammation. Recruitment took place from 2010 to 2013 in 31 study centers. In addition to the baseline visit, follow-up visits are scheduled at 6, 18, 36 and 54 months after baseline. The study also comprises a biobank, image bank, and includes health economic data. Here we describe the study design of COSYCONET and present baseline data of our COPD cohort.

Methods: Inclusion criteria were broad in order to cover a wide range of patterns of the disease. In each visit, patients undergo a large panel of assessments including e.g. clinical history, spirometry, body plethysmography, diffusing capacity, blood samples, 6-min walk-distance, electrocardiogram and echocardiography. Chest CTs are collected if available and CTs and MRIs are performed in a subcohort. Data are entered into eCRFs and subjected to several stages of quality control.

Results: Overall, 2741 subjects with a clinical diagnosis of COPD were included (59% male; mean age 65 ± 8.6 years (range 40-90)). Of these, 8/35/32/9% presented with GOLD stages I-IV; 16% were uncategorized, including the former GOLD-0 category. 24% were active smokers, 68% ex-smokers and 8% never-smokers. Data completeness was 96% for the baseline items.

Conclusion: The German COPD cohort comprises patients with advanced and less advanced COPD. This is particularly useful for studying the time course of COPD in relation to comorbidities. Baseline data indicate that COSYCONET offers the opportunity to investigate our research questions in a large-scale, high-quality dataset.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rmed.2016.03.008DOI Listing
May 2016

Efficacy and safety of tralokinumab in patients with severe uncontrolled asthma: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 2b trial.

Lancet Respir Med 2015 Sep 28;3(9):692-701. Epub 2015 Jul 28.

MedImmune, Cambridge, UK. Electronic address:

Background: Interleukin 13 is a central mediator of asthma. Tralokinumab is a human interleukin-13 neutralising monoclonal antibody. We aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of two dosing regimens of tralokinumab in patients with severe uncontrolled asthma.

Methods: We did a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, multicentre, phase 2b study at 98 sites in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. Patients aged 18-75 years with severe asthma and two to six exacerbations in the previous year were randomly assigned (1:1), via an interactive voice-response or web-response system, to one of two dosing regimen groups (every 2 weeks, or every 2 weeks for 12 weeks then every 4 weeks) and further randomised (2:1), via computer-generated permuted-block randomisation (block size of six), to receive tralokinumab 300 mg or placebo for 1 year. All participants received high-dose fluticasone and salmeterol and continued other pre-study controller drugs. Treatment was administered by an unmasked study investigator not involved in the management of patients; all other study site personnel, patients, the study funder, and data analysts were masked to treatment allocation. The primary endpoint was the annual asthma exacerbation rate at week 52 in the intention-to-treat population. Key secondary endpoints included prebronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), Asthma Control Questionnaire-6 (ACQ-6), and Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire-Standardised Version (AQLQ[S]). This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01402986.

Findings: Between Oct 4, 2011, and Feb 22, 2014, we randomly assigned 452 patients to receive placebo (n=151) or tralokinumab every 2 weeks (n=150) or every 4 weeks (n=151), of whom 383 (85%) completed the treatment period up to week 52. The annual asthma exacerbation rate at week 52 was similar between patients receiving tralokinumab every 2 weeks (0.91 per patient per year [95% CI 0.76-1.08]) and every 4 weeks (0.97 [0.81-1.14]), and those receiving placebo (0.90 [0.75-1.08]). At week 52, percentage changes in annual asthma exacerbation rate were not significant with tralokinumab every 2 weeks or every 4 weeks versus placebo (6% [95% CI -31 to 33; p=0.709] and -2% [-46 to 29; p=0.904], respectively), with positive changes showing a decrease in exacerbation rate and negative changes showing an increase. Prebronchodilator FEV1 was significantly increased compared with placebo for tralokinumab every 2 weeks (change from baseline 7.3% [95% CI 2.6-12.0]; p=0.003), but not every 4 weeks (1.8% [-2.9 to 6.6]; p=0.448); however, we did not identify significant changes in the other key secondary endpoints. In a post-hoc subgroup analysis of patients not on long-term oral corticosteroids and with baseline FEV1 reversibility of 12% or greater, we noted a non-significant improvement in asthma exacerbation rate (44% [95% CI -22 to 74]; p=0.147) and significant improvements in key secondary endpoints (FEV1 12.2% [1.7-22.7]; p=0.022; ACQ-6 -0.55 [-1.07 to -0.04]; p=0.036; and AQLQ[S] 0.70 [0.12-1.28]; p=0.019) in patients given tralokinumab every 2 weeks (n=33) compared with placebo (n=48). In patients in this subgroup who also had baseline serum dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) higher than the population baseline median, we noted additional improvements in prebronchodilator FEV1, ACQ-6, and AQLQ(S), and, in those with periostin concentrations higher than the median, we noted improvements in asthma exacerbation rate, prebronchodilator FEV1, and ACQ-6. The incidence of treatment-emergent adverse events was similar between the tralokinumab and placebo groups. Treatment-emergent serious adverse events regarded as related to the study drug were pneumonia (one [1%] patient in the placebo group), pneumococcal pneumonia (one [1%] in the tralokinumab every 2 weeks group), angioedema (one [1%] in the placebo group), and worsening asthma (one [1%] in the tralokinumab every 2 weeks group and two [1%] in the tralokinumab every 4 weeks group).

Interpretation: In this phase 2b study, both tralokinumab regimens had an acceptable safety and tolerability profile but did not significantly reduce asthma exacerbation rates in patients with severe uncontrolled asthma. Improvement in FEV1 with tralokinumab given every 2 weeks and results of post-hoc subgroup analyses suggested a possible treatment effect in a defined population of patients with severe uncontrolled asthma. This effect is being further investigated in ongoing phase 3 trials, along with the potential utility of DPP-4 and periostin as biomarkers of interleukin-13 pathway activation.

Funding: MedImmune.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(15)00197-6DOI Listing
September 2015

Efficacy of Tiotropium + Olodaterol in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease by Initial Disease Severity and Treatment Intensity: A Post Hoc Analysis.

Adv Ther 2015 Jun 26;32(6):523-36. Epub 2015 Jun 26.

Pulmonary Research Institute of Southeast Michigan, Livonia, MI, USA,

Introduction: The once-daily long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) tiotropium and once-daily long-acting β2-agonist (LABA) olodaterol have been studied as a once-daily fixed-dose combination (FDC) in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Two large, 52-week, double-blind, parallel-group studies in patients with moderate-very severe COPD demonstrated that tiotropium + olodaterol significantly improved lung function and symptoms versus the monocomponents. This post hoc analysis determined effects on lung function by prior LAMA or LABA maintenance treatment and initial disease severity.

Methods: 5162 patients were randomized and treated with olodaterol 5 µg, tiotropium 2.5 µg, tiotropium 5 µg, tiotropium + olodaterol 2.5/5 µg, or tiotropium + olodaterol 5/5 µg (all once daily via Respimat(®) inhaler). Primary efficacy (lung-function) end points were forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) area under the curve from 0 to 3 h (AUC0-3) and trough FEV1 responses (i.e., change from baseline). Pooled data are presented for the following subgroups: prior maintenance treatment with LAMA or LABA, Global initiative for chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) 2 (predicted FEV1 50% to <80%) and 3 (30% to <50%)/4 (<30%), sex, age, and prior use of inhaled corticosteroids.

Results: Tiotropium + olodaterol FDC improved lung function over the monocomponents in patients with GOLD 2 and 3-4 disease, irrespective of prior LAMA or LABA maintenance therapy; most comparisons between FDCs and their respective monocomponents were statistically significant (P < 0.05). FEV1 AUC0-3 and trough FEV1 responses for the individual treatments were generally greater in patients with less severe COPD at baseline.

Conclusions: Tiotropium + olodaterol 5/5 µg significantly improved FEV1 AUC0-3 and trough FEV1 in all GOLD severity groups compared to olodaterol 5 µg and tiotropium 5 µg alone, irrespective of whether patients had received prior LAMA or LABA maintenance treatment. Improvements from baseline in lung function were generally greater in patients with less severe disease.

Funding: Boehringer Ingelheim.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT01431274 and NCT01431287.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12325-015-0218-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4486785PMC
June 2015

Allergen-induced asthmatic responses modified by a GATA3-specific DNAzyme.

N Engl J Med 2015 May 17;372(21):1987-95. Epub 2015 May 17.

From the Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine (N.K., J.M.H.) and the Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Hannover Medical School (J.Z., T.W.), Hannover, Pulmonary Research Institute at Lung Clinic Grosshansdorf, Grosshansdorf (A.-M.K.), Institut für klinische Forschung Pneumologie, Clinical Research Center Respiratory Medicine, Frankfurt (O.K.), Insaf Respiratory Research Institute, Wiesbaden (K.M.B.), Inamed, Gauting (D.K., W.T.), Pulmonary Department, Medical Clinic, University Hospital Mainz, Mainz (S.K., R.B.), Charité Research Organization, Berlin (S.I.), FGK Clinical Research, Munich (C.R.), Sterna Biologicals (J.B., U.H., A.T., J.R.) and Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Philipps University Marburg, a member of Universities Giessen and Marburg Lung Center (H.G., H.R.), Marburg - all in Germany; Upper Airways Research Laboratory, University Hospital Ghent, Ghent, Belgium (N.Z., C.B.); and the Division of Ear, Nose, and Throat Diseases, Clintec, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm (N.Z., C.B.).

Background: The most prevalent phenotype of asthma is characterized by eosinophil-dominated inflammation that is driven by a type 2 helper T cell (Th2). Therapeutic targeting of GATA3, an important transcription factor of the Th2 pathway, may be beneficial. We evaluated the safety and efficacy of SB010, a novel DNA enzyme (DNAzyme) that is able to cleave and inactivate GATA3 messenger RNA (mRNA).

Methods: We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter clinical trial of SB010 involving patients who had allergic asthma with sputum eosinophilia and who also had biphasic early and late asthmatic responses after laboratory-based allergen provocation. A total of 40 patients could be evaluated; 21 were assigned to receive 10 mg of SB010, and 19 were assigned to receive placebo, with each study drug administered by means of inhalation once daily for 28 days. An allergen challenge was performed before and after the 28-day period. The primary end point was the late asthmatic response as quantified by the change in the area under the curve (AUC) for forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1).

Results: After 28 days, SB010 attenuated the mean late asthmatic response by 34%, as compared with the baseline response, according to the AUC for FEV1, whereas placebo was associated with a 1% increase in the AUC for FEV1 (P=0.02). The early asthmatic response with SB010 was attenuated by 11% as measured by the AUC for FEV1, whereas the early response with placebo was increased by 10% (P=0.03). Inhibition of the late asthmatic response by SB010 was associated with attenuation of allergen-induced sputum eosinophilia and with lower levels of tryptase in sputum and lower plasma levels of interleukin-5. Allergen-induced levels of fractional exhaled nitric oxide and airway hyperresponsiveness to methacholine were not affected by either SB010 or placebo.

Conclusions: Treatment with SB010 significantly attenuated both late and early asthmatic responses after allergen provocation in patients with allergic asthma. Biomarker analysis showed an attenuation of Th2-regulated inflammatory responses. (Funded by Sterna Biologicals and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01743768.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1411776DOI Listing
May 2015

Reslizumab for inadequately controlled asthma with elevated blood eosinophil counts: results from two multicentre, parallel, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trials.

Lancet Respir Med 2015 May 23;3(5):355-66. Epub 2015 Feb 23.

Department of Internal Medicine, University Medical Center, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany.

Background: Elevated numbers of blood eosinophils are a risk factor for asthma exacerbations. Reslizumab is a humanised anti-interleukin 5 monoclonal antibody that disrupts eosinophil maturation and promotes programmed cell death. We aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of reslizumab in patients with inadequately controlled, moderate-to-severe asthma.

Methods: We did two duplicate, multicentre, double-blind, parallel-group, randomised, placebo-controlled phase 3 trials. Both trials enrolled patients with asthma aged 12-75 years (from 128 clinical research centres in study 1 and 104 centres in study 2) from Asia, Australia, North America, South America, South Africa, and Europe, whose asthma was inadequately controlled by medium-to-high doses of inhaled corticosteroid based therapy and who had blood eosinophils of 400 cells per μL or higher and one or more exacerbations in the previous year. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive either intravenous reslizumab (3·0 mg/kg) or placebo every 4 weeks for 1 year by computerised central randomisation. Patients and investigators were masked to treatment assignment during the study. Each patient received a specific volume of study drug (reslizumab or matching placebo) on the basis of the patient's body weight and randomly assigned treatment group. Additionally, the sponsor's clinical personnel involved in the study were masked to the study drug identity until the database was locked for analysis and the treatment assignment revealed. The primary outcome was the annual frequency of clinical asthma exacerbations and was analysed by intention to treat. We assessed safety outcomes in the patients who had received one or more dose of the drug. The trials have been completed and are registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, numbers NCT01287039 (study 1) and NCT01285323 (study 2).

Findings: Study 1 was done between April 12, 2011, and March 3, 2014 and study 2 between March 22, 2011, and April 9, 2014. Of 2597 patients screened, 953 were randomly assigned to receive either reslizumab (n=477 [245 in study 1 and 232 in study 2]) or placebo (n=476 [244 and 232]). In both studies, patients receiving reslizumab had a significant reduction in the frequency of asthma exacerbations (study 1: rate ratio [RR] 0·50 [95% CI 0·37-0·67]; study 2: 0·41 [0·28-0·59]; both p<0·0001) compared with those receiving placebo. Common adverse events on reslizumab were similar to placebo. The most common adverse events were worsening asthma symptoms (127 [52%] for placebo and 97 [40%] for reslizumab in study 1; 119 [51%] for placebo and 67 [29%] for reslizumab for study 2), upper respiratory tract infections (32 [13%] and 39 [16%]; 16 [7%] and eight [3%]), and nasopharyngitis (33 [14%] and 28 [11%]; 56 [24%] and 45 [19%]). Two patients in the reslizumab group had anaphylactic reactions; both responded to standard treatment at the study centre and resolved, and the patients were withdrawn from the study.

Interpretation: These results support the use of reslizumab in patients with asthma and elevated blood eosinophil counts who are inadequately controlled on inhaled corticosteroid-based therapy.

Funding: Teva Branded Pharmaceutical Products R&D.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(15)00042-9DOI Listing
May 2015

Efficacy and safety of once-daily QVA149 compared with the free combination of once-daily tiotropium plus twice-daily formoterol in patients with moderate-to-severe COPD (QUANTIFY): a randomised, non-inferiority study.

Thorax 2015 Apr 12;70(4):311-9. Epub 2015 Feb 12.

Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz, Germany.

Background: QVA149 is a once-daily (o.d.) inhaled dual bronchodilator containing a fixed-dose combination of the long-acting β2-agonist indacaterol and the long-acting muscarinic antagonist glycopyrronium for the treatment of COPD. The QUANTIFY study compared QVA149 with a free-dose bronchodilator combination of tiotropium plus formoterol (TIO+FOR) in improving health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of patients with COPD.

Methods: This multicentre, blinded, triple-dummy, parallel-group, non-inferiority study randomised patients aged ≥40 years with moderate-to-severe COPD (post-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) ≥30% to <80% predicted) to QVA149 110/50 µg o.d. or TIO 18 µg o.d.+ FOR 12 µg twice daily (1:1) for 26 weeks. The primary endpoint was to demonstrate non-inferiority in HRQoL assessed using St George's Respiratory Questionnaire-COPD (SGRQ-C). The prespecified non-inferiority margin was 4 units. Secondary endpoints included Transition Dyspnoea Index (TDI) score, pre-dose FEV1, forced vital capacity (FVC) and safety.

Results: Of the 934 patients randomised (QVA149=476 and TIO+FOR=458), 87.9% completed the study. At week 26, non-inferiority was met for SGRQ-C (QVA149 vs TIO+FOR; difference: -0.69 units; 95% CI -2.31 to 0.92; p=0.399). A significantly higher percentage of patients achieved a clinically relevant ≥1 point improvement in TDI total score with QVA149 (49.6%) versus TIO+FOR (42.4%; p=0.033). QVA149 significantly increased pre-dose FEV1 (+68 mL, 95% CI 37 mL to 100 mL; p<0.001) and FVC (+74 mL, 95% CI 24 mL to 125 mL; p=0.004) compared with TIO+FOR at week 26. The incidence of adverse events was comparable between both treatments (QVA149=43.7% and TIO+FOR=42.6%).

Conclusions: QVA149 is non-inferior to TIO+FOR in improving HRQoL, with clinically meaningful and significant improvements in breathlessness and lung function in patients with COPD.

Trial Registration Number: NCT01120717.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/thoraxjnl-2014-206345DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4392202PMC
April 2015

Efficacy and safety of aclidinium bromide/formoterol fumarate fixed-dose combinations compared with individual components and placebo in patients with COPD (ACLIFORM-COPD): a multicentre, randomised study.

BMC Pulm Med 2014 Nov 18;14:178. Epub 2014 Nov 18.

University of Manchester, Medicines Evaluation Unit, Langley Building, University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust, Southmoor Road, Manchester M23 9QZ, UK.

Background: Aclidinium/formoterol is a twice-daily (BID) fixed-dose combination (FDC) in development for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The efficacy and safety of aclidinium/formoterol versus monotherapy and placebo in patients with COPD was assessed.

Methods: In this 24-week double-blind, parallel-group, active- and placebo-controlled, multicentre Phase III study, patients (≥40 years, post-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 second [FEV1]/forced vital capacity <70% and FEV1 ≥30% but <80% predicted normal) were randomised 2:2:2:2:1 to aclidinium/formoterol 400/12 μg (n = 385) or 400/6 μg (n = 381), aclidinium 400 μg (n = 385), formoterol 12 μg (n = 384) or placebo (n = 194) BID via Genuair®/Pressair®a.

Results: At Week 24, aclidinium/formoterol 400/12 μg and 400/6 μg lead to significant improvements from baseline in 1-hour post-dose FEV1 versus aclidinium (125 mL [95% CI: 90, 160; p < 0 · 001] and 69 mL [95% CI: 34, 105; p < 0.001], respectively) and trough FEV1 versus formoterol (85 mL [95% CI: 51, 119; p < 0.001] and 53 mL [95% CI: 19, 87; p < 0.01], respectively; co-primary endpoints). Additionally, aclidinium/formoterol 400/12 μg and 400/6 μg provided significant improvements in Transition Dyspnoea Index (TDI) focal score versus placebo (1.29 units [95% CI: 0.73, 1.86; p < 0.001] and 1.16 units [95% CI: 0.59, 1.73; p < 0.001], respectively; secondary endpoint). All treatments were well tolerated, with safety profiles of the FDCs similar to those of placebo and monotherapy.

Conclusions: Both aclidinium/formoterol BID doses significantly improved bronchodilation versus monotherapy, and dyspnoea versus placebo, with no increase in safety risk. Aclidinium/formoterol may be an effective treatment for patients with COPD.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01462942.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2466-14-178DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4273456PMC
November 2014

Tiotropium Respimat® in asthma: a double-blind, randomised, dose-ranging study in adult patients with moderate asthma.

Respir Res 2014 Jun 3;15:61. Epub 2014 Jun 3.

insaf Respiratory Research Institute GmbH, Wiesbaden, Germany.

Background: Tiotropium, a once-daily long-acting anticholinergic bronchodilator, when administered via Respimat® SoftMist™ inhaler (tiotropium Respimat®) significantly reduces the risk of severe exacerbations and improves lung function in patients with severe persistent asthma that is not fully controlled despite using inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) and long-acting β2-agonists. To further explore the dose-response curve in asthma, we investigated the efficacy and safety of three different doses of tiotropium Respimat® as add-on to ICS in symptomatic patients with moderate persistent asthma.

Methods: In this randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, four-way crossover study, patients were randomised to tiotropium Respimat® 5 μg, 2.5 μg or 1.25 μg or placebo Respimat®, once daily in the evening. Each treatment was administered for 4 weeks, without washout between treatment periods. Eligibility criteria included ≥60% and ≤90% of predicted normal forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) and seven-question Asthma Control Questionnaire mean score of ≥1.5. Patients were required to continue maintenance treatment with stable medium-dose ICS for at least 4 weeks prior to and during the treatment period. Long-acting β2-agonists were not permitted during the treatment phase. The primary efficacy end point was peak FEV1 measured within 3 hours after dosing (peak FEV1(0-3h)) at the end of each 4-week period, analysed as a response (change from study baseline).

Results: In total, 149 patients were randomised and 141 completed the study. Statistically significant improvements in peak FEV1(0-3h) response were observed with each tiotropium Respimat® dose versus placebo (all P < 0.0001). The largest difference from placebo was with tiotropium Respimat® 5 μg (188 mL). Trough FEV1 and FEV1 area under the curve (AUC)(0-3h) responses were greater with each tiotropium Respimat® dose than with placebo (all P < 0.0001), and both were greatest with 5 μg. Peak forced vital capacity (FVC)(0-3h), trough FVC and FVC AUC(0-3h) responses, versus placebo, were greatest with tiotropium Respimat® 5 μg (P < 0.0001, P = 0.0012 and P < 0.0001, respectively). Incidence of adverse events was comparable between placebo and all tiotropium Respimat® groups.

Conclusions: Once-daily tiotropium Respimat® add-on to medium-dose ICS improves lung function in symptomatic patients with moderate asthma. Overall, improvements were largest with tiotropium Respimat® 5 μg.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT01233284.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1465-9921-15-61DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4066691PMC
June 2014

Effect of QVA149 on lung volumes and exercise tolerance in COPD patients: the BRIGHT study.

Respir Med 2014 Apr 21;108(4):584-92. Epub 2014 Jan 21.

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, East Hanover, NJ, USA.

Introduction: QVA149 is a novel, inhaled, once-daily dual bronchodilator containing a fixed-dose combination of the long-acting β2-agonist indacaterol and the long-acting muscarinic antagonist glycopyrronium (NVA237), for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This study evaluated the effects of QVA149 on exercise tolerance, hyperinflation, lung function and lung volumes versus placebo and tiotropium.

Methods: Patients with moderate-to-severe COPD were randomized to QVA149 110/50 μg, placebo or tiotropium 18 μg once daily in a blinded, 3-period crossover study for 3 weeks. The primary endpoint was exercise endurance time at Day 21 for QVA149 versus placebo.

Results: Eighty-five patients were randomized; 86% completed the study. QVA149 significantly improved exercise endurance time at Day 21 compared with placebo (least squares mean treatment difference 60 s [p = 0.006]). No significant improvements in exercise endurance time at Day 21 between QVA149 and tiotropium were found. Dynamic inspiratory capacity (IC) at exercise isotime, trough forced expiratory volume in 1 s, residual volume and functional residual capacity showed significant improvements with QVA149 from Day 1 of treatment that were maintained throughout the study. The safety profiles were similar across groups.

Conclusions: In patients with moderate-to-severe COPD, once-daily QVA149 significantly improved exercise endurance time compared with placebo which was associated with sustained reductions of lung hyperinflation as indicated by significant improvement in IC at rest and during exercise.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01294787.

Take Home Message: Dual bronchodilation with QVA149 decreases lung hyperinflation and improves exercise tolerance and lung function in patients with moderate-to-severe COPD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rmed.2014.01.006DOI Listing
April 2014

Against all odds: anti-IgE for intrinsic asthma?

Thorax 2014 Jan 24;69(1):94-6. Epub 2013 May 24.

Department of Pneumology and Critical Care Medicine, University of Rostock, , Rostock, Germany.

For many years, pathogenetic concepts and the results of clinical trials supported the view that anti-IgE treatment is specifically effective in allergic asthma. However, there is now growing clinical and mechanistic evidence suggesting that treatment with the anti-IgE antibody omalizumab can be effective in patients with intrinsic asthma. Therefore, large and well-controlled clinical trials with anti-IgE are urgently warranted in patients with intrinsic asthma. In addition, there is a need to find new biomarkers which can identify patients with asthma who respond to anti-IgE treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/thoraxjnl-2013-203738DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3888607PMC
January 2014