Astrazeneca’s Experimental Drug to Treat COPD Fails to Reduce Acute Exacerbations

Astrazeneca’s Experimental Drug to Treat COPD Fails to Reduce Acute Exacerbation

On Monday, AstraZeneca PLC announced that Phase IIa study of benralizumab, an experimental drug for the treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), was published in 'The Lancet Respiratory Medicine' medical journal.

This drug is specially designed for the patients who do not respond effectively to the traditionally available inhalers. COPD is a disease related to smoking.

As per the study, the drug did not meet its primary endpoint, as benralizumab was not able to reduce the rate of serious attacks called acute exacerbations, when compared with a placebo. But it showed significant improvements in the lung function in the overall population.

Sources revealed that the study's data will be presented at the 2014 European Respiratory Society International Congress in Munich, Germany, along with other data from the company's respiratory profile. However, GlaxoSmithKline and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries are also working to prepare a rival product of the drug.

Shares of AstraZeneca on Monday morning were reported to be down by 0.8% at 4,517.50 pence.

Despite the mix results of the mid-stage, AstraZeneca in July made an announcement of starting a final-stage Phase III program for benralizumab in COPD, despite the mix results of the mid stage.

Experts said that benralizumab is so-called anti-interleukin-5 antibody that helps to reduce white blood cells causing lung disorders. Initially, main focus of the drug was severe asthma, but COPD is another major market opportunity for AstraZeneca and the company believes that it will be able to dominate in the area.

Bing Yao, head of respiratory drug development at AstraZeneca's MedImmune unit, said, "COPD is a highly heterogeneous disease and we are working to better understand patient subtypes, identify potential biomarkers and tailor therapies to achieve the best outcomes for patients."


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