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AZ’s hopes for Fasenra in COPD suffer terminal blow

Published on 30/05/18 at 10:04am

It looked unlikely that Fasenra would achieve success in the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) area, after it suffered in trial results released earlier this month.

AstraZeneca has now released the results from the second trial into the area and they only confirm the company’s fears, the treatment is a dud for COPD.

The short press release simply states that the trial did not meet its primary endpoint of reducing exacerbations and, perhaps coming as no surprise, would not be pursuing a regulatory submission any time soon.

Dr Sean Bohen, Executive Vice President, Global Medicines Development and Chief Medical Officer, said: “These results are disappointing because uncontrolled COPD patients already on dual or triple inhaled therapy need new treatment options. We will now analyse the complete data sets from the Galathea and Terranova trials to further understand these results.”

The news will come as a relief to GSK, which has a rival treatment, in Nucala, already on the market and is seeking approval for the same indication that Fasenra will now miss out on, in COPD.

GSK’s results did not progress without a hitch, with one trial (Metrex) showing successful reduction of exacerbations while in another (Metreo) the treatment failed to achieve statistical significance.

The latest setback for AZ for its product could now see it lose further ground on the first-in-class leader, despite the advantages it holds in less frequent administration (eight weeks vs four week).

Ben Hargreaves

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