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AstraZeneca's Fasenra has strong Phase 3 showing in severe eosinophilic asthma

Published on 06/08/20 at 11:20am

AstraZeneca took the opportunity at the American Thoracic Society 2020 Virtual International Conference to unveil positive new Phase 3b data on the efficacy of Fasenra (benralizumab) in the treatment of severe eosinophilic asthma.

The company revealed that the therapy, in combination with standard of care, generated a reduction of 49% in the annual rate of asthma exacerbations 24 weeks after initial dosing compared to placebo in patients with baseline blood eosinophil counts of at least 150 cells per microlitre.

Additionally, patients receiving Fasenra saw a “statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement” in health-related quality of life after 24 weeks, as measured according to the St George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ).

The drug was also shown to improve lung function in the early stages of treatment as well as asthma control compared to placebo at week 24, according to forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) of up to 160ml and the Asthma Control Questionnaire respectively.

“Severe asthma is a debilitating disease and many patients remain uncontrolled on standard of care treatment,” commented Tim Harrison, investigator on the study and Professor of Asthma and Respiratory Medicine, University of Nottingham. “These data should provide further confidence to physicians that early and sustained improvements in quality of life, lung function and asthma control can be achieved with Fasenra in patients with severe eosinophilic asthma. In addition, the nasal polyps subgroup data in the trial warrants further investigation and exploration of Fasenra’s potential in this disease.”

This approval adds to Fasenra’s existing authorisation in regions including the US, EU and Japan in severe eosinophilic asthma when used as an add-on maintenance treatment.

Matt Fellows

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