Dupixent® (dupilumab) Demonstrates Potential to Become First Biologic to Treat COPD by Showing Significant Reduction in Exacerbations in Pivotal Trial
First and only biologic to demonstrate clinically meaningful and statistically significant reduction (30%) in exacerbations compared to placebo
First and only biologic to show rapid and significant improvement in lung function (160 mL in FEV1) compared to placebo (77 mL in FEV1)
First and only biologic to demonstrate significant improvements in quality of life and respiratory symptoms
COPD is the third leading cause of death worldwide with no new treatment approaches approved in more than a decade; trial enrolled patients with moderate to severe disease and evidence of type 2 inflammation (i.e., blood eosinophils ≥300 cells/μL)
COPD is the seventh disease in which Dupixent has shown positive pivotal results, confirming the key role of IL-4 and IL-13 in driving these type 2 inflammatory diseases
TARRYTOWN, N.Y. and PARIS, March 23, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) and Sanofi today announced the primary and all key secondary endpoints were met in a Phase 3 trial evaluating the investigational use of Dupixent® (dupilumab) compared to placebo in adults currently on maximal standard-of-care inhaled therapy (triple therapy) with uncontrolled chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and evidence of type 2 inflammation. Dupixent is the first and only biologic to demonstrate a clinically meaningful and highly significant reduction (30%) in moderate or severe acute exacerbations of COPD (rapid and acute worsening of respiratory symptoms) over 52 weeks, while also demonstrating significant improvements in lung function, quality of life and COPD respiratory symptoms.
“COPD is an urgent global health concern and a notoriously difficult-to-treat disease due to its heterogeneity, with no novel treatments approved in more than a decade,” said George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Scientific Officer at Regeneron, and a principal inventor of Dupixent. “In this landmark Phase 3 trial, patients with uncontrolled COPD achieved clinical outcomes with Dupixent at a magnitude never before seen with a biologic. These results also validate the role type 2 inflammation plays in driving COPD in these patients, advancing the scientific community’s understanding of the underlying biology of this disease. We look forward to discussing these exciting results with regulatory authorities.”
COPD is a life-threatening respiratory disease that damages the lungs and causes progressive lung function decline. Symptoms include persistent cough and breathlessness that may not only impair the ability to perform routine daily activities, but can also lead to anxiety, depression and sleep disturbances. COPD is also associated with a significant health and economic burden due to recurrent acute exacerbations that require systemic corticosteroid treatment and/or lead to hospitalization or even death. Smoking is a key risk factor for COPD, but even individuals who quit smoking can still develop the disease. In the U.S. alone, approximately 300,000 people live with uncontrolled COPD with type 2 inflammation.
“Change cannot come quick enough for people living with uncontrolled COPD, but unfortunately, many investigational treatments have failed to demonstrate significant clinical outcomes leaving these vulnerable patients with limited treatment options. We took a bold approach with our direct to Phase 3 program, shaving years off standard clinical development timelines,” said Dietmar Berger, M.D., Ph.D., Head of Global R&D ad interim at Sanofi and Chief Medical Officer. “We are excited to share these unprecedented and potentially paradigm-shifting clinical results, which may give new hope to patients, caregivers and physicians.”
In the BOREAS trial (the first of two Phase 3 trials), 939 adults who were current or former smokers aged 40 to 80 years were randomized to receive Dupixent (n=468) or placebo (n=471) added to maximal standard-of-care inhaled therapy. Patients receiving Dupixent experienced:
- 30% reduction in moderate or severe acute COPD exacerbations over 52 weeks (p=0.0005), the primary endpoint.
- Improved lung function from baseline by 160 mL at 12 weeks compared to 77 mL for placebo (p<0.0001), with the benefit versus placebo sustained through week 52 (p=0.0003), both of which were key secondary endpoints.
Dupixent met all endpoints tested in the hierarchy, including improvement in patient-reported health-related quality of life as measured by the St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) and reduction in the severity of respiratory symptoms of COPD as measured by Evaluation Respiratory Symptoms: COPD (E-RS: COPD) Scale.
The safety results were generally consistent with the known safety profile of Dupixent in its approved indications. Overall rates of adverse events (AEs) were 77% for Dupixent and 76% for placebo. AEs more commonly observed with Dupixent compared to placebo included headache (8.1% Dupixent, 6.8% placebo), diarrhea (5.3% Dupixent, 3.6% placebo) and back pain (5.1% Dupixent, 3.4% placebo). AEs more commonly observed with placebo compared to Dupixent included upper respiratory tract infection (9.8% placebo, 7.9% Dupixent), hypertension (6.0% placebo, 3.6% Dupixent) and COVID-19 (5.7% placebo, 4.1% Dupixent). AEs leading to deaths were balanced between the two arms (1.7% placebo, 1.5% Dupixent).
Detailed efficacy and safety results from this trial will be presented in a future scientific forum.
The broader Sanofi and Regeneron COPD clinical research program includes Phase 3 trials with itepekimab, a fully human monoclonal antibody that binds to and inhibits interleukin-33 (IL-33). Itepekimab received Fast Track Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in January 2023 for the treatment of COPD in patients who do not currently smoke. Data from this pivotal program is expected in 2025.
The safety and efficacy of Dupixent and itepekimab in COPD have not been fully evaluated by any regulatory authority.
About the Dupixent COPD Phase 3 Trial Program
BOREAS is one of two pivotal trials in the Dupixent COPD program. The randomized, Phase 3, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial evaluated the efficacy and safety of Dupixent in 939 adults who were current or former smokers aged 40 to 80 years with moderate-to-severe COPD. All patients in the trial had evidence of type 2 inflammation, as measured by blood eosinophils ≥300 cells/µL. During the 52-week treatment period, patients received Dupixent or placebo every two weeks added to a triple therapy of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS), long-acting beta agonists, and long-acting muscarinic antagonists. Double maintenance therapy was allowed if ICS was contraindicated.
The primary endpoint evaluated the annualized rate of acute moderate or severe COPD exacerbations. Moderate exacerbations were defined as those requiring systemic steroids and/or antibiotics. Severe exacerbations were defined as those: requiring hospitalization; more than a day of observation in an emergency department or urgent care facility; or resulting in death. Key secondary endpoints included: change from baseline in lung function (assessed by pre-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume [FEV1]) at 12 and 52 weeks; change from baseline at 52 weeks in SGRQ total score compared to placebo; the proportion of patients with SGRQ improvement ≥4 points at 52 weeks; and the change from baseline at 52 weeks in the ERS: COPD Scale symptom score.
The second, replicate Phase 3 trial of Dupixent in COPD (NOTUS) is ongoing with data expected in 2024.
About Regeneron and Sanofi’s COPD Clinical Research Program
Regeneron and Sanofi are motivated to transform the treatment paradigm of COPD by examining the role different types of inflammation play in the disease progression through the investigation of two potentially first-in-class biologics, Dupixent and itepekimab.
Dupixent inhibits the signaling of the interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interleukin-13 (IL-13) pathways and the program focuses on a specific population of people with evidence of type 2 inflammation. Itepekimab is a fully human monoclonal antibody that binds to and inhibits interleukin-33 (IL-33), an initiator and amplifier of broad inflammation in COPD. Across both programs, four Phase 3 trials are ongoing and designed to inform next-generation treatments for people with COPD who might not have other options.
Dupixent is a fully human monoclonal antibody that inhibits the signaling of the interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interleukin-13 (IL-13) pathways and is not an immunosuppressant. The Dupixent development program has shown significant clinical benefit and a decrease in type 2 inflammation in Phase 3 trials, establishing that IL-4 and IL-13 are key and central drivers of the type 2 inflammation that plays a major role in multiple related and often co-morbid diseases. These diseases include approved indications for Dupixent, such as atopic dermatitis, asthma, chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis (CRSwNP), eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) and prurigo nodularis.
Dupixent has received regulatory approvals in one or more countries around the world for use in certain patients with atopic dermatitis, asthma, CRSwNP, EoE or prurigo nodularis in different age populations. Dupixent is currently approved for one or more of these indications in more than 60 countries, including in Europe, the U.S. and Japan. More than 600,000 patients are being treated with Dupixent globally.
About Regeneron’s VelocImmune Technology
Regeneron’s VelocImmune technology utilizes a proprietary genetically engineered mouse platform endowed with a genetically humanized immune system to produce optimized fully human antibodies. When Regeneron’s co-Founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer George D. Yancopoulos was a graduate student with his mentor Frederick W. Alt in 1985, they were the first to envision making such a genetically humanized mouse, and Regeneron has spent decades inventing and developing VelocImmune and related VelociSuite® technologies. Dr. Yancopoulos and his team have used VelocImmune technology to create a substantial proportion of all original, FDA-approved or authorized fully human monoclonal antibodies. This includes REGEN-COV® (casirivimab and imdevimab), Dupixent, Libtayo® (cemiplimab-rwlc), Praluent® (alirocumab), Kevzara® (sarilumab), Evkeeza® (evinacumab-dgnb) and Inmazeb® (atoltivimab, maftivimab and odesivimab-ebgn).
Dupilumab Development Program
Dupilumab is being jointly developed by Regeneron and Sanofi under a global collaboration agreement. To date, dupilumab has been studied across more than 60 clinical trials involving more than 10,000 patients with various chronic diseases driven in part by type 2 inflammation.
In addition to the currently approved indications, Regeneron and Sanofi are studying dupilumab in a broad range of diseases driven by type 2 inflammation or other allergic processes in Phase 3 trials, including pediatric EoE, chronic inducible urticaria-cold, chronic spontaneous urticaria, chronic pruritus of unknown origin, COPD with evidence of type 2 inflammation, chronic rhinosinusitis without nasal polyposis, allergic fungal rhinosinusitis, allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis and bullous pemphigoid. These potential uses of dupilumab are currently under clinical investigation, and the safety and efficacy in these conditions have not been fully evaluated by any regulatory authority.
DUPIXENT is a prescription medicine used:
- to treat adults and children 6 months of age and older with moderate-to-severe eczema (atopic dermatitis or AD) that is not well controlled with prescription therapies used on the skin (topical), or who cannot use topical therapies. DUPIXENT can be used with or without topical corticosteroids. It is not known if DUPIXENT is safe and effective in children with atopic dermatitis under 6 months of age.
- with other asthma medicines for the maintenance treatment of moderate-to-severe eosinophilic or oral steroid dependent asthma in adults and children 6 years of age and older whose asthma is not controlled with their current asthma medicines. DUPIXENT helps prevent severe asthma attacks (exacerbations) and can improve your breathing. DUPIXENT may also help reduce the amount of oral corticosteroids you need while preventing severe asthma attacks and improving your breathing. DUPIXENT is not used to treat sudden breathing problems. It is not known if DUPIXENT is safe and effective in children with asthma under 6 years of age.
- with other medicines for the maintenance treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis (CRSwNP) in adults whose disease is not controlled. It is not known if DUPIXENT is safe and effective in children with chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis under 18 years of age.
- to treat adults and children 12 years of age and older, who weigh at least 88 pounds (40 kg), with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). It is not known if DUPIXENT is safe and effective in children with eosinophilic esophagitis under 12 years of age and who weigh at least 88 pounds (40 kg).
- to treat adults with prurigo nodularis (PN). It is not known if DUPIXENT is safe and effective in children with prurigo nodularis under 18 years of age.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Do not use if you are allergic to dupilumab or to any of the ingredients in DUPIXENT®.
Before using DUPIXENT, tell your healthcare provider about all your medical conditions, including if you:
- have eye problems.
- have a parasitic (helminth) infection.
- are scheduled to receive any vaccinations. You should not receive a “live vaccine” right before and during treatment with DUPIXENT.
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known whether DUPIXENT will harm your unborn baby.
- A pregnancy registry for women who take DUPIXENT during pregnancy collects information about the health of you and your baby. To enroll or get more information call 1-877-311-8972 or go to https://mothertobaby.org/ongoing-study/dupixent/.
- are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known whether DUPIXENT passes into your breast milk.
Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the- counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Especially tell your healthcare provider if you are taking oral, topical, or inhaled corticosteroid medicines; have asthma and use an asthma medicine; or have atopic dermatitis, chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis, eosinophilic esophagitis, or prurigo nodularis and also have asthma. Do not change or stop your corticosteroid medicine or other asthma medicine without talking to your healthcare provider. This may cause other symptoms that were controlled by the corticosteroid medicine or other asthma medicine to come back.
DUPIXENT can cause serious side effects, including:
- Allergic reactions. DUPIXENT can cause allergic reactions that can sometimes be severe. Stop using DUPIXENT and tell your healthcare provider or get emergency help right away if you get any of the following signs or symptoms: breathing problems or wheezing, swelling of the face, lips, mouth, tongue or throat, fainting, dizziness, feeling lightheaded, fast pulse, fever, hives, joint pain, general ill feeling, itching, skin rash, swollen lymph nodes, nausea or vomiting, or cramps in your stomach-area.
- Eye problems. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any new or worsening eye problems, including eye pain or changes in vision, such as blurred vision. Your healthcare provider may send you to an ophthalmologist for an exam if needed.
- Inflammation of your blood vessels. Rarely, this can happen in people with asthma who receive DUPIXENT. This may happen in people who also take a steroid medicine by mouth that is being stopped or the dose is being lowered. It is not known whether this is caused by DUPIXENT. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have: ras
- h, chest pain, worsening shortness of breath, a feeling of pins and needles or numbness of your arms or legs, or persistent fever.
- Joint aches and pain. Some people who use DUPIXENT have had trouble walking or moving due to their joint symptoms, and in some cases needed to be hospitalized. Tell your healthcare provider about any new or worsening joint symptoms. Your healthcare provider may stop DUPIXENT if you develop joint symptoms.
The most common side effects include:
- Eczema: injection site reactions, eye and eyelid inflammation, including redness, swelling, and itching, sometimes with blurred vision, cold sores in your mouth or on your lips, and high count of a certain white blood cell (eosinophilia).
- Asthma: injection site reactions, high count of a certain white blood cell (eosinophilia), pain in the throat (oropharyngeal pain), and parasitic (helminth) infections.
- Chronic Rhinosinusitis with Nasal Polyposis: injection site reactions, eye and eyelid inflammation, including redness, swelling, and itching, sometimes with blurred vision, high count of a certain white blood cell (eosinophilia), gastritis, joint pain (arthralgia), trouble sleeping (insomnia), and toothache.
- Eosinophilic Esophagitis: injection site reactions, upper respiratory tract infections, cold sores in your mouth or on your lips, and joint pain (arthralgia).
- Prurigo Nodularis: eye and eyelid inflammation, including redness, swelling, and itching, sometimes with blurred vision, herpes virus infections, common cold symptoms (nasopharyngitis), dizziness, muscle pain, and diarrhea.
Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of DUPIXENT. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Use DUPIXENT exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. It’s an injection given under the skin (subcutaneous injection). Your healthcare provider will decide if you or your caregiver can inject DUPIXENT. Do not try to prepare and inject DUPIXENT until you or your caregiver have been trained by your healthcare provider. In children 12 years of age and older, it’s recommended DUPIXENT be administered by or under supervision of an adult. In children 6 months to less than 12 years of age, DUPIXENT should be given by a caregiver.
Please see accompanying full Prescribing Information including Patient Information.
Regeneron (NASDAQ: REGN) is a leading biotechnology company that invents, develops and commercializes life-transforming medicines for people with serious diseases. Founded and led for 35 years by physician-scientists, our unique ability to repeatedly and consistently translate science into medicine has led to nine FDA-approved treatments and numerous product candidates in development, almost all of which were homegrown in our laboratories. Our medicines and pipeline are designed to help patients with eye diseases, allergic and inflammatory diseases, cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, pain, hematologic conditions, infectious diseases and rare diseases.
Regeneron is accelerating and improving the traditional drug development process through our proprietary VelociSuite® technologies, such as VelocImmune®, which uses unique genetically humanized mice to produce optimized fully human antibodies and bispecific antibodies, and through ambitious research initiatives such as the Regeneron Genetics Center, which is conducting one of the largest genetics sequencing efforts in the world.
For more information, please visit www.Regeneron.com or follow @Regeneron on Twitter.
We are an innovative global healthcare company, driven by one purpose: we chase the miracles of science to improve people’s lives. Our team, across some 100 countries, is dedicated to transforming the practice of medicine by working to turn the impossible into the possible. We provide potentially life-changing treatment options and life-saving vaccine protection to millions of people globally, while putting sustainability and social responsibility at the center of our ambitions.
Sanofi is listed on EURONEXT: SAN and NASDAQ: SNY.
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