AstraZeneca’s asthma drug study fails expectations

AstraZeneca and its subsidiary MedImmune have reported that tralokinumab, an anti-interleukin-13 (IL-13) human monoclonal antibody, did not meet its primary endpoint of a significant reduction in the annual asthma exacerbation rate (AAER) in the overall population of severe, uncontrolled asthma patients, compared with placebo in STRATOS 1, the first of two pivotal Phase III trials.

AstraZeneca said in its press release that in a planned analysis, a clinically-relevant reduction in AAER was observed in a sub-population of patients with an elevated biomarker associated with increased IL-13 activity. This sub-group of patients will now be the focus for the future analysis of STRATOS 2, the second ongoing pivotal Phase III trial.

Sean Bohen, Executive Vice President, Global Medicines Development and Chief Medical Officer, said: “Severe asthma is a heterogeneous disease with significant unmet needs and we will now await the STRATOS 2 results in the second half of 2017 to explore the potential to treat a sub-group of uncontrolled asthma patients with tralokinumab.”

The company explained that the STRATOS 1 and STRATOS 2 trials evaluate the efficacy and safety of tralokinumab in reducing the rate of asthma exacerbations in adults and adolescents with severe asthma, inadequately controlled despite receiving inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) plus long-acting beta2-agonist (LABA). STRATOS 1 explored the potential to use biomarkers to identify patients with an enhanced response to tralokinumab. STRATOS 2 is designed to validate the biomarker population identified in STRATOS 1.

The safety and tolerability findings in STRATOS 1 were consistent with those observed in previous trials with tralokinumab. A full evaluation of the data is ongoing and the results will be submitted for presentation at a forthcoming medical meeting.

Potential future regulatory submissions for tralokinumab will be dependent on the combined analysis of both STRATOS 1 and STRATOS 2, the two pivotal trials in the ATMOSPHERE clinical programme, the company said.

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