Lebrikizumab Ups Lung Function in Adults With Asthma

Treatment benefit is more pronounced in patients with high periostin levels

THURSDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with lebrikizumab increases lung function in adults with asthma, especially for those with high levels of serum periostin, according to a study published online Aug. 3 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Jonathan Corren, M.D., from the Allergy Medical Clinic in Los Angeles, and colleagues investigated whether antiinterleukin-13 therapy, in the form of lebrikizumab, benefitted patients with asthma whose pretreatment profile was indicative of interleukin-13 activity. A total of 219 adults with inadequately controlled asthma despite inhaled glucocorticoid therapy were involved in the placebo-controlled study. Relative change in prebronchodilator forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) from baseline to week 12 was the primary efficacy outcome, and the rate of asthma exacerbations through 24 weeks was a secondary outcome. Baseline type 2 helper T-cell status and serum periostin levels were used to determine subgroups.

The investigators found that, at baseline, the patients had a mean FEV1 that was 65 percent of the predicted value. The mean increase in FEV1 in the lebrikizumab group at 12 weeks was significantly higher than in the placebo group -- by 5.5 percent. Compared to the placebo group, patients in the high-periostin subgroup of the lebrikizumab group had a significant increase of 8.2 percent from baseline FEV1; while in the low-periostin subgroup of the lebrikizumab group, the increase was 1.6 percent. Lebrikizumab was associated with more musculoskeletal side effects than was the placebo.

"Patients with high pretreatment levels of serum periostin had greater improvement in lung function with lebrikizumab than did patients with low periostin levels," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry.

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