Dupilumab Effective in Treating OCS-Dependent Asthma, Weaning OCS Use

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Long-term treatment of oral corticosteroid (OCS)-dependent asthma with dupilumab has shown efficacy in weaning off OCS while improving lung function.

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Long-term treatment of oral corticosteroid (OCS)-dependent asthma with dupilumab has shown efficacy in weaning off OCS while improving lung function, according to study results presented at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) International Conference, held virtually from May 14 to May 19, 2021.

Researchers conducted a post hoc analysis that included 187 of the 210 participants from the phase 3 LIBERTY ASTHMA VENTURE study (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02528214), who then enrolled in the single-arm, open-label extension LIBERTY ASTHMA TRAVERSE (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02134028) study. These participants were treated with dupilumab 300 mg once every 2 weeks for up to 96 weeks. Subgroups included those who received dupilumab in both studies and those who received placebo in VENTURE and dupilumab in TRAVERSE.

Endpoints included the percentage of participants who stopped using OCS during VENTURE and maintained discontinuation through TRAVERSE, as well as change from baseline OCS use at weeks 48 and 96. Reducing OCS dose was not stated as a target for treating physicians. Acute exacerbation rates and change from baseline in prebronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) comprised efficacy endpoints.

Participants treated with dupilumab in both studies sustained 89% OCS reduction from VENTURE baseline at week 96. Substantial improvements were seen in patients treated with placebo-dupilumab (74% reduction by week 96). Of the patients who had discontinued OCS by week 24 of VENTURE (dupilumab-dupilumab, 53.3%; placebo-dupilumab, 29.9%), most remained OCS-free during TRAVERSE (dupilumab-dupilumab, 93.3% and 100%; placebo-dupilumab, 100% and 100%, at weeks 48 and 96, respectively).   Exacerbation rates remained low throughout TRAVERSE and FEV1 change showed improvements despite decreased OCS use.

The study researchers concluded that treating OCS-dependent asthma with dupilumab long-term “facilitated weaning OCS use, while concomitantly decreasing and maintaining low annualized rates of exacerbations and improving lung function.”

Disclosure: Some study authors declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, and/or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures.


Sher L, Wechsler M, Rabe KF, et al. Assessment of long-term maintenance of OCS reduction and efficacy in the dupilumab LIBERTY ASTHMA TRAVERSE extension study. Presented at: the American Thoracic Society (ATS) International Conference 2021; May 14 to 19, 2021. Abstract A1441.

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This article originally appeared on Pulmonology Advisor