Stuart Green, MD: Treating Unexplained Chronic Cough

September 11, 2020

Pulmonary conditions like asthma could often lead to the development of chronic cough.

Chronic coughs remain a difficult condition to treat that can be a year-round problem for patients.

However, 1 of the reasons it is so difficult to treat is because the triggers that cause the coughing episodes tend to be varied greatly between different individuals.

In an interview with HCPLive®, Stuart Green, MD, Vice President of Late Stage Development at Merck, said chronic coughs can often be caused by pulmonary conditions, making treating diseases like asthma and COPD essential.

Green recently led a research team in presenting 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.

Green explained the targets of the studies were patients with either unexplained chronic cough or individuals where treatment did not work. Green said these patients tend to be a little bit older and are more predominantly female.

If gefapixant is deemed effective in this patient group, it could lead to more clinical trials testing new drugs for chronic cough.