Stuart Green, MD: Promising New Drug for Chronic Coughs

September 9, 2020

It has been approximately 60 years since a new treatment for coughs has come on the market.

Chronic cough might be a disease that has been lost in the shuffle as it has been approximately 6 decades since a new treatment has come on the market.

However, that soon may change as researchers recently presented data at the European Respiratory Society International Congress 2020 (ERS 2020) from the COUGH-1 and COUGH-2 trials, a pair of phase 3 trials testing gefapixant, an investigational, orally administered selective P2X3 receptor antagonist for the treatment of refractory or unexplained chronic cough.

In the clinical trials, adult patients treated with gefapixant 45 mg twice daily demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in 24-hour cough frequency (measured as coughs per hour, using 24-hour sound recordings) compared to placebo at 12 weeks (COUGH-1) (18.45% reduction relative to placebo; 95% CI, -32.92 to -0.86; P = 0.041) and 24 weeks (COUGH-2) (14.64% reduction relative to placebo; 95% CI, -26.07 to -1.43; P = 0.031).

In an interview with HCPLive®, Stuart Green, MD, Vice President of Late Stage Development at Merck, explained how the positive trial data could ultimately help an under treated patient population.

Green also explained why new drugs have not been successfully developed in recent years to help treat chronic cough.