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Dupilumab: A Review in Moderate to Severe Asthma

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posted on 26.11.2019 by Emma D. Deeks

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Funding The preparation of this review was not supported by any external funding.

Conflicts of interestEmma Deeks is a salaried employee of Adis International Ltd/Springer Nature, is responsible for the article content and declares no relevant conflicts of interest.

Additional information about this Adis Drug Review can be found here


Dupilumab (Dupixent®) is a fully human monoclonal antibody against the interleukin (IL)-4 receptor α subunit of IL-4 and IL-4/IL-13 receptor complexes. IL-4 and IL-13 are key cytokines in driving type 2 inflammation, a dominant and largely eosinophilic inflammatory pathway in asthma. Trials evaluating the efficacy of dupilumab in asthma include three pivotal, placebo-controlled, phase 3 or 2b trials of 24–52 weeks’ treatment duration in patients aged ≥ 12 years with moderate-to-severe asthma (inadequately controlled with medium-to-high dose inhaled corticosteroids) or severe asthma [dependent on oral corticosteroids (OCS) for control]. In these studies, adding subcutaneous dupilumab (200 or 300 mg every 2 weeks) to background therapy was generally well tolerated and reduced the rate of severe asthma exacerbations, improved lung function, as well as asthma control and, where specified, health-related quality of life (HR-QOL), and enabled OCS maintenance doses to be reduced without impacting asthma control. Dupilumab displayed efficacy across various patient subgroups, although those with heightened type 2 immune activity, including elevated eosinophils and fractional exhaled nitric oxide, tended to have a more prominent treatment benefit. Dupilumab is consequently widely indicated (and a valuable treatment option) as an add-on therapy in patients aged ≥ 12 years who have severe/moderate-to-severe asthma with a type 2 inflammation/eosinophilic phenotype despite conventional treatments or have OCS-dependent asthma.

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