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Dupilumab Reduces Exacerbations in Patients With COPD

Significant improvement also seen in lung function, quality of life, severity of COPD symptoms

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, May 25, 2023 (HealthDay News) — For patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with type 2 inflammation, dupilumab is associated with fewer moderate-to-severe exacerbations, according to a study published online May 21 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with the American Thoracic Society’s 2023 International Conference, held from May 19 to 24 in Washington, D.C..

Surya P. Bhatt, M.D., M.S.P.H., from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues conducted a phase 3, double-blind trial involving patients with COPD with a blood eosinophil count of at least 300/microliter and an elevated risk of exacerbation despite use of standard triple therapy. Participants were randomly assigned to receive dupilumab or placebo subcutaneously once every two weeks (468 and 471 patients, respectively).

The researchers found that the annualized rate of moderate or severe exacerbations was 0.78 and 1.10 with dupilumab and placebo, respectively (rate ratio, 0.70). From baseline to week 12, the prebronchodilator forced expiratory volume in one second increased by a least-squares mean of 160 and 77 mL for dupilumab and placebo, respectively; this difference was sustained through week 52. The St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire score had improved by a least-squares mean of −9.7 and −6.4 with dupilumab and placebo, respectively, at week 52. Improvement in the Evaluating Respiratory Symptoms in COPD score at week 52 was by a least-squares mean of −2.7 and −1.6 with dupilumab and placebo, respectively.

“Dupilumab has the potential to impact the vicious cycle of exacerbations and lung function decline in patients with uncontrolled COPD with type 2 inflammation, and significantly improve respiratory symptoms. Dupilumab also helped improve health-related quality of life measures,” Bhatt said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Sanofi and Regeneron, which manufacture dupilumab and funded the study.

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