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Oral Immunotherapy Shows Promise in Treating COPD

Non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae oral immunotherapeutic HI-164OV lessens exacerbations

TUESDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with the non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae oral immunotherapeutic HI-164OV may reduce the number and severity of exacerbations in people with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to research published in the April issue of Chest.

Maharaj Kishore Tandon, M.D., of Hollywood Private Hospital in Perth, Wash., and colleagues conducted a randomized, multi-center, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to test the efficacy of HI-164OV. They describe the response in 38 patients with severe COPD, defined as having a forced expiratory volume in one second at or below 50 percent of predicted normal. Exacerbations were defined as an increase in volume and purulence of sputum.

The researchers observed a 16 percent (non-significant) reduction in exacerbations in the patients taking HI-164OV. However, moderate to severe exacerbations (requiring corticosteroid therapy) decreased by 63 percent (P = .05). Patients in the HI-164OV group experienced a 56 percent reduction (P = .07) in episodes requiring corticosteroid therapy compared with the placebo group, but the proportion of patients experiencing any acute exacerbation changed little with treatment. Patients in the HI-164OV arm also experienced a 37 percent reduction in duration of episodes (P = .01), required 56 percent fewer antibiotic prescriptions (P = .03), and experienced a 90 percent reduction in exacerbations requiring hospitalization (P = .04).

"The results of this study show a potential to improve health and reduce the economic burden of acute exacerbations in COPD," the authors write. "HI-164OV offers a clinical benefit to subjects with severe COPD by reducing the number and severity of acute exacerbations through its impact on immunologic networks now becoming recognized as being important in the pathogenesis of COPD."

The study was funded by Hunter Immunology Ltd., which makes HI-164OV, and several authors reported financial ties to the company.

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