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Atopic Dermatitis Drug May Help Treat Asthma

October 30, 2018

Dupilumab can significantly improve lung function and asthma exacerbation rates in children, according to new research from the phase 3 Liberty Asthma QUEST study.

The study, authored by Jorge Maspero, MD, and colleagues, was presented on Tuesday, October 9, at the CHEST Annual Meeting 2018 in San Antonio, Texas.

To reach their conclusion, the researchers set up a study that included 1902 participants, 107 of whom were adolescents aged 12 to 17 years with asthma. The participants had no minimum baseline eosinophil requirement, and their asthma was uncontrolled with medium-to-high-dose inhaled corticosteroids plus 1 or 2 controllers. Participants received either dupilumab, 200 mg; dupilumab,300 mg; or a placebo every 2 weeks for 52 weeks.

The researchers assigned 34 of the adolescent participants to the dupilumab, 200 mg, group and 34of the adolescent participants to the dupilumab, 300 mg, group. The researchers assigned 21 and 18 adolescent participants, respectively, to the corresponding placebo groups.  

The study revealed that, in adolescence, dupilumab at either dosage led to “highly significant” improvement in lung function. In fact, the change from baseline in forced expiratory volume in the first second of expiration was improved at an even greater rate than that seen in the adult participants.

Furthermore, dupilumab, 200 mg, reduced the annualized exacerbation rate by 46.4%, a rate consistent with that seen in the study’s adult participants.

Dupilumab, 300 mg, did not show an effect compared with placebo, but the researchers said that this finding may be a result of the small sample size and imbalanced number of prior events in the adolescent subgroup.

“Dupilumab may benefit lung function and severe exacerbation rates in adolescents with uncontrolled moderate-to-severe asthma,” the researchers concluded.

—Colleen Murphy

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