Tezepelumab Effective in Patients With Severe Uncontrolled Asthma and Nasal Polyps

In an interview with HCPLive, Dr. Jean-Pierre Llanos-Ackert and Dr. Bill Cook discuss how tezepelumab resulted in improved lung function and an 86% reduction in exacerbation rates in this patient population.

An exploratory analysis from phase 3 of the NAVIGATOR trial found that tezepelumab reduced exacerbations and improved lung function and nasal symptoms in patients with severe, uncontrolled asthma and comorbid nasal polyps.

The findings were presented at the European Respiratory Society (ERS) 2021 International Congress.

Participants with nasal polyps saw an 86% reduction in the annualized asthma exacerbation rate in the past 2 years, while participants without reported nasal polyps saw a 52% reduction.

Additionally, clinically relevant improvements in nasal polyp symptoms were recorded, as well as improved lung function at week 52 in both groups.

In an interview with HCPLive, Jean-Pierre Llanos-Ackert, Executive Medical Director, Global Medical Affairs at Amgen, and Bill Cook, Senior Global Medical Affairs Leader at AstraZeneca spoke of how the recent trial built upon the Phase 2b PATHWAY trial, the overall efficacy of the medicine, and future endeavors.

Initially, Llanos-Ackert noted that roughly 1 out of every 5 patients with severe asthma have nasal polyps and other complications.

“This disease usually is related with more inflammation, more exacerbation, (and) more burden of the disease, so more severe asthmatic patients are more difficult to treat,” Llanos-Ackert said. “What was exciting is that we saw that in this population we achieved an 86% reduction of exacerbation in these patients which is quite a remarkable result.”

Cook added that patients with severe asthma are often unable to be fully treated with traditional inhaled therapies, which is why biologic therapies such as tezepelumab have risen to prominence in recent years.

The recent data on tezepelumab suggests that the biologic could be a potential first-in-class treatment that works at the top of the inflammatory cascade by targeting thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP).

Tezepelumab was granted priority review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Though the WAYPOINT phase 3 trial for nasal polyps is still ongoing, the team are hoping to receive word from the administration on their submission regarding asthma in the first quarter of 2022.

Current therapies have targeted specific asthma groups such as type 2 inflammatory asthma and eosinophilic asthma. However, Cook believed tezepelumab could be beneficial to all severe asthma types.

“If the current therapies are either targeting allergic asthma or eosinophilic asthma,” Cook said. “So, if you have a patient who has neither of those, or maybe who has both of those, it's not clear what to target. So that's where an agent that works broadly, a broad anti-inflammatory like tezepelumab could be really helpful.”

To hear more about tezepelumab from Dr. Llanos-Ackert and Dr. Cook, watch the interview above.