Companies Pull Plug on IL-4, IL-13 Inhibitors for Lung Problems

Study results fail to justify continued development

Lackluster study results are leading global pharmaceutical giants to reconsider their development of interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-13 inhibitors in the treatment of lung ailments, Fierce Biotech reports.

Sanofi disclosed that it has “decided to stop the development of SAR156597 in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis,” which had been in phase 2 trials. The fate of the bispecific IL-4/IL-13 antibody was buried in Sanofi’s third-quarter financial results. The study had been completed but not released; the primary endpoint was absolute change from baseline in percent predicted forced vital capacity at one year.

SAR156597 lives on in an early-stage placebo-controlled study in the autoimmune disease diffuse systemic sclerosis, with Sanofi set to see how it’s working next October.

Roche discontinued development of its IL-13 drug lebrikizumab in asthma after two identical phase 3 trials yielded different results. In one trial the drug succeeded in cutting the rate of severe exacerbations. In the other study it failed against the same endpoint. After sifting through the mixed bag of data, Roche terminated another study in patients with severe corticosteroid-dependent asthma.

And AstraZeneca saw its IL-13 monoclonal antibody fare poorly in two late-stage asthma trials, STRATOS 2 and TROPOS, when it failed to beat out placebo and decrease the need for steroids, respectively. That followed another failed pivotal trial earlier in the year. AstraZeneca had already ended work for its medication in IPF last year.

Sources: Fierce Biotech; November 2, 2017; Fierce Biotech; November 1, 2017.