New Trial Shows Potential of Fevipiprant for Moderate-to-Severe Asthma

A recent trial published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine investigates the efficacy of Fevipiprant in treating individuals with moderate-to-severe asthma. Completed between February 10, 2012 and January 30, 2013, and published this month, the study follows 61 participants in a single-center, randomized, controlled, double-blind study. Researchers, led by Dr. Sherif Gonem at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, United Kingdom, investigated how targeted therapies, like Fevipiprant, can be useful in treating individuals with previously uncontrolled asthma.
Fevipiprant is a prostaglandin D2 receptor 2 agonist. This receptor is often found in large quantities in individuals with more severe asthma, and is believed to affect the the body’s immune response, by way of increasing airway inflammation. Patients with sputum eosinophil counts greater than or equal to 2%, indicative of airway inflammation, who also had moderate-to-severe asthma, were included in the study.
All individuals received a single-blind placebo for two weeks, along with inhaled steroids. After the first two weeks, the individuals were split into two, double-blind groups. For the next 12 weeks, in addition to inhaled steroids, the treatment group was given a twice-daily oral dose of Fevipiprant, while the control group was given a placebo. At the end of the 12-week treatment time, all individuals were given a single-blind placebo for a 6-week washout period.
The results of the trial showed that those who received Fevipiprant experienced a decrease in sputum eosinophil percentage from 5.4% to 1.1% (a 4.5-time reduction), while the control group only experienced a decrease of 4.6% to 3.9% (a 1.3-time reduction). The reduction in eosinophil percentage indicated that airway inflammation, a major contributor to asthma severity and symptoms, had declined for those taking Fevipiprant. In addition, those in the treatment group also experienced better overall asthma control, asthma-related quality of life, improved post-inhaler forced expiratory volume in 1 second, and a reduction in eosinophilic inflammation in the bronchial submucosa than their control-group counterparts. There were no serious or adverse side effects from the treatment during the duration of the study.
Fevipiprant also has the potential to affect other inflammatory cells besides eosinophils, that could further reduce the inflammatory response in individuals with previously uncontrollable asthma. The study does include a relatively small sample size, as well as only includes one treatment center analyzed for a relatively short amount of time, however, it does indicate that there is potential for Fevipiprant to be a successful targeted treatment for individuals who aren’t finding success with corticosteroid treatment alone. Further long-term testing, with larger sample sizes and more treatment locations are necessary to determine Fevipiprant’s overall safety and value, however, these results do show a lot of potential for asthma treatment in the future.

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