Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Sanofi today announced that the European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has adopted a positive opinion for Dupixent® (dupilumab) in asthma. The CHMP recommended Dupixent be approved for use in adults and adolescents 12 years and older as add-on maintenance treatment for severe asthma with type 2 inflammation characterized by raised blood eosinophils and/or raised fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO), who are inadequately controlled with high dose inhaled corticosteroid plus another medicinal product for maintenance treatment.
The positive CHMP opinion is based on clinical data from 2,888 adults and adolescents who participated in three pivotal trials from the global LIBERTY ASTHMA program, including the Phase 3 QUEST and VENTURE trials. QUEST compared Dupixent vs. placebo in asthma patients inadequately controlled on a medium or high dose inhaled corticosteroid and a second controller medication. VENTURE compared Dupixent vs. placebo in oral corticosteroid dependent asthma patients. The European Commission is expected to make a final decision on the application for Dupixent in the coming months.
Dupixent is a human monoclonal antibody that inhibits the signaling of interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interleukin-13 (IL-13), two key proteins that play a central role in type 2 inflammation that underlies specific types of asthma as well as several other allergic diseases. This effect is associated with the reduction of type 2 inflammatory biomarkers including FeNO, immunoglobulin E (IgE) and eotaxin-3 (CCL26).
Patients with severe asthma often have uncontrolled, persistent symptoms despite standard-of-care therapy that may make them suitable for treatment with a biologic therapy. Symptoms of uncontrolled disease include coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing, and these patients are at risk of severe asthma attacks that may require emergency room visits or hospitalizations. Oral corticosteroids can provide relief for severe, short-term symptoms; however, current asthma guidelines suggest limiting their chronic use to the most severe patients due to the potential for serious side effects.
Dupixent is being developed jointly by Regeneron and Sanofi as part of a global collaboration agreement. In October 2018, Dupixent was approved in the U.S. as an add-on maintenance therapy in patients with moderate-to-severe asthma aged 12 years and older with an eosinophilic phenotype or with oral corticosteroid-dependent asthma. Dupixent is not used to treat sudden breathing problems. Dupixent is currently under regulatory review for specific types of asthma in Japan.
Dupixent is currently approved in the European Union for use in adults with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis who are candidates for systemic therapy. Dupixent is also approved for use in specific patients with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis in a number of other countries around the world.