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AstraZeneca-Amgen Asthma Drug Shows Promising Results

By John F. Heerdink, Jr.

Reportedly, Amgen’s (AMGN) and AstraZeneca’s (AZN) experimental drugs have proven to reduce asthma attacks in patients with uncontrolled and severe forms of the respiratory condition in a large study.

The medicine, tezepelumab, cut the rate of asthma attacks by 56% among patients when compared to placebo in a year-long late-stage study with 1000 patients already receiving proper standard care. The drug also worked well in a subgroup of volunteers with low levels of eosinophils, a type of white blood cell.

Tezepelumab further improved lung function in patients helped control asthma better and reduced the risk of hospitalizations or emergency visits by 79%.

Tezepelumab blocks TSLP, a type of immune protein found in the linings of the lungs. If approved, the biologic drug will compete with AstraZeneca’s Regeneron’s Dupixent and Fasenra.

“Alongside Fasenra, we think that having two really strong complementary, robust biologics in this space will actually expand use in eligible patients,” stated Richard Marshall, global head of late respiratory and immunology at AstraZeneca.

AstraZeneca’s Fasenra, with almost $1 billion in sales last year, is a strong prospect in the market to treat severe eosinophilic asthma, but with Tezepelumab the company could offer to treat non-eosinophilic patients.

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(Read Original Story: AstraZeneca-Amgen drug could widen treatment options for severe asthma in Reuters)


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