Asthma: Add-on Maintenance Treatment with FASENRA (benralizumab) Can Reduce Exacerbations

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Tosh Butt, MBA VP Respiratory AstraZeneca

Tosh Butt

Tosh Butt, MBA
VP Respiratory
AstraZeneca

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? How is benralizumab different from more traditional treatments for asthma?

    • BORA is a randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, Phase III extension, and is one of six Phase III trials in the WINDWARD program in asthma. The current analysis includes results for 1,926 patients from the two placebo controlled exacerbation trials, SIROCCO (48 week) and CALIMA (56 weeks). BORA provides evidence that add on maintenance treatment with FASENRA (benralizumab) resulted in a consistent safety profile over a second year of treatment, with no increase in the frequencies of overall or serious adverse events, and sustained efficacy in terms of reducing asthma exacerbations, and improving lung function and asthma symptoms. The BORA trial results could provide confidence to patients with severe eosinophilic asthma and physicians that the positive outcomes they may be seeing with benralizumab can be maintained over a second year of treatment.
  • FASENRA, a different kind of respiratory biologic, has a strong clinical profile which includes the ability to show lung function improvement after the first dose, the potential to reduce – or even stop – oral steroid use, and the convenience of 8-week dosing (no other respiratory biologic offers this dosing). FASENRA is approved for add-on maintenance treatment of patients with severe asthma ages 12 years and older, and with an eosinophilic phenotype. FASENRA binds directly to the IL-5a receptor on an eosinophil and uniquely attracts natural killer cells to induce apoptosis, or cell death. Other biologics currently available are anti-IL5s – a passive approach that primarily acts to block differentiation and survival of the eosinophil.

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FDA Approves Poteligeo® (mogamulizumab-kpkc) for T-Cell Lymphoma of the Skin

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jeffrey S. Humphrey, MD President of Kyowa Kirin Pharmaceutical Development, Inc

Dr. Humphrey

Jeffrey S. Humphrey, MD
President of Kyowa Kirin Pharmaceutical Development, Inc

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this announcement? Would you briefly explain what is meant by Mycosis Fungoides and Sézary Syndrome?

Response: Kyowya Kirin has received FDA approval for Poteligeo (mogamulizumab), based on findings from the MAVORIC trial. Mogamulizumab is a humanized immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) monoclonal antibody (mAb) that targets CC chemokine receptor 4 (CCR4), for the treatment of the most common subtypes of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), mycosis fungoides (MF) and Sézary syndrome (SS).

MF and SS may have a profound and severe impact on quality of life, including a patient’s functional, emotional and social well-being, as symptoms may include a scaly red rash or light or dark patches in areas of the body that are not usually exposed to the sun; thin, reddened, eczema-like rash; thickened scaly, red skin (or plaques) or psoriasis-like rash; more advanced disease can include tumors (with significant thickness) on the skin, which may develop ulcers and become infected. Because CTCL manifests in skin lesions, it is often mistaken for other skin conditions (early stage MF and SS can be diagnosed as other skin conditions), which can delay conclusive diagnosis and treatment options.

MF is the most common subtype of CTCL, affecting 50-70% of individuals. In most patients diagnosed with early stage MF, the skin involvement does not progress, but in some patients, it will slowly progress. SS accounts for approximately 3% of CTCL cases and is a more aggressive, leukemic form of CTCL, affecting the blood, skin, lymph nodes and visceral organs

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For Resistant HIV: Phase III Trial of Trogarzo Demonstrates Safety and Efficacy

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
TaiMed BiologicsStanley Lewis, M.D.

TaiMed Biologics
Irvine, CA 92614


MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The phase III clinical trial was conducted to assess the efficacy and safety of Trogarzo™ (ibalizumab-uiyk) injection in patients with multidrug resistant HIV-1. The study design was approved by the FDA. Results obtained were included in the New Drug Application submitted to the FDA which approved Trogarzo™ on March 6, 2018.

The phase III, open-label study, enrolled 40 patients with multidrug-resistant (MDR) HIV-1 in whom multiple antiretroviral therapies had failed. All patients at baseline were experiencing viral failure. After a seven-day control period, patients received an intravenous 2000 mg loading dose of Trogarzo™ which was the only change made to their antiretroviral regimen. Through the 24-week treatment period of the study, patients were given a maintenance dose of 800 mg of Trogarzo™ every two weeks along with an optimized background regimen that included at least one additional fully active agent.

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Crohn’s Disease: Positive Findings from Phase III Study of Antibiotic Combination

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
RedHill Biopharma LtdMr. Gilead Raday, MPhil, MSc
Chief Operating Officer
RedHill Biopharma Ltd

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly explain what is meant by Crohn’s disease?  How common is it and whom does it affect? 

Response: Crohn’s disease (CD) is a chronic, relapsing inflammatory gastrointestinal disorder characterized by a variety of symptoms, including severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, bleeding, bowel obstruction, fever and weight loss. The underlying cause of Crohn’s is unknown; however, CD is believed to arise secondary to genetic and environmental stimuli. More than 1.5 million people suffer from CD globally and it is prevalent in the U.S., affecting more than 200 people per 100,000.

The current standard of care for Crohn’s disease is limited to anti-inflammatories, immuno-suppressants and biologics that treat auto-immune disorders. These therapies target symptomatic improvement in the inflammation associated with CD, are widely considered to be of limited efficacy in the long term, and are associated with numerous side effects. This speaks to the great unmet need for an effective therapy for this debilitating disease.

Additionally, there is no current therapy that treats the suspected underlying cause of Crohn’s disease. We have developed RHB-104 with the MAP hypothesis in mind, which posits that Crohn’s disease is caused by infection by a bacteria, Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP). This is similar to peptic ulcer disease, a condition that was initially associated with stress, smoking, NSAIDs and other behavioral factors, yet was found to be caused by H. pylori bacterial infection in the 1980s, revolutionizing the field of ulcer treatment. Validation of this theory would revolutionize how Crohn’s disease is viewed and treated by the medical community and RHB-104 is the only therapy in development targeting MAP infection.  Continue reading

HIV: Hopeful Results of Doravirine vs Ritonavir-Boosted Darunavir at 96 Weeks

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
merck

Kathleen Squires MD
Director, Division of Infectious Diseases
Jefferson University Hospitals and
Ming-Tai Lai, PhD
Senior Principal Scientist, Biology Discover
Merck

 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Dr. Squires: The DRIVE-FORWARD study is a pivotal, randomized, double-blind, Phase 3 study that evaluated the safety and efficacy of doravirine (DOR), a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) in treatment-naïve adults with HIV-1 infection. Data from week 48 of this trial have previously been presented demonstrating that doravirine met its primary endpoint of non-inferior efficacy compared to ritonavir-boosted darunavir (DRV+r). In addition, at 48 weeks, a secondary endpoint showed that the doravirine-treated group had statistically significant lower levels of fasting LDL-C and non-HDL-C versus the DRV+r group.

The data presented at AIDS 2018 are week 96 data from the DRIVE-FORWARD trial.
At week 96, the doravirine group demonstrated efficacy of 73.1% compared with 66.0% in the DRV+r group, a treatment difference of 7.1% (95% CI: 0.5, 13.7)  Two participants in the DOR treatment group developed genotypic and phenotypic resistance to DOR through 96 weeks of treatment. The rate of discontinuation of therapy due to adverse events was 1.6 percent in the DOR group and 3.4 percent in the DRV+r group.

Doravirine is a late-stage investigational NNRTI for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in treatment-naïve adults and is being evaluated both as a once-daily single-entity tablet in combination with other antiretroviral agents, and as a once-daily fixed-dose combination regimen with lamivudine (3TC) and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF). Earlier this year, Merck announced that the FDA accepted for review two New Drug Applications (NDAs) for doravirine for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in treatment-naïve adults. The NDAs are based upon the findings at week 48 of two ongoing Phase 3 trials, DRIVE-FORWARD and DRIVE-AHEAD, evaluating the efficacy and safety of doravirine and the fixed-dose combination regimen of DOR/3TC/TDF, respectively. The FDA has set a target action date of October 23, 2018 for both applications.

Dr. Lai: This study aimed to characterize the mutant viruses selected in treatment-naïve participants through week 48 from DRIVE-FORWARD and DRIVE-AHEAD, and to assess the impact of selected mutations on non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) susceptibility and viral fitness. All of the seven doravirine (DOR)-resistant mutants are either partially susceptible or susceptible to etravirine. Mutants containing the F227C substitution were shown to be hypersusceptible to some nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) such as azidothymidine (AZT), tenofovir (TFV), lamivudine (3TC), and MK-8591. Among the 12 participants who developed efavirenz (EFV) resistance, 9 of the EFV-resistant clinical mutants were susceptible to DOR with fold-change <2.5.

The majority of DOR-selected viruses identified in the treatment-naïve participants in clinical trials to date retain susceptibility to etravirine and hypersensitivity to some NRTIs, with low replication capacity. In addition, the majority of EFV-selected viruses retain susceptibility to DOR.  Continue reading

Medical Textbooks Riddled With Undisclosed Conflicts of Interest

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Brian J. Piper, PhD, MS Department of Basic Sciences Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Scranton, PA 18509

Dr. Piper

Brian J. Piper, PhD, MS
Department of Basic Sciences
Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
Scranton, PA 18509

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The authors of this study are biomedical scientists, health care providers and educators who teach medical and pharmacy students. It is a standard practice in reputable medical journals like the New England Journal of Medicine to disclose conflicts of interest (CoI). Reputable sources like the Cochrane Library also disclose CoIs and analyze for their potential impact on the evidence base. Unfortunately, textbooks, which can be highly influential in the training of medical professionals, usually do not disclose their conflicts of interest.

A prior study in this quantitative bioethics area found that more than one-quarter of a team-authored pharmacology textbook, Goodman and Gilman’s Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, had an undisclosed patent (PLoS One, 2015; 10: e0133261).  The goal of this investigation was to determine whether there were undisclosed CoIs in textbooks used in the training and as a reference for allopathic physicians, osteopathic physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurses and other allied healthcare providers.  Continue reading

ORILISSA™ (elagolix) Now Approved for Management of Moderate to Severe Pain Associated with Endometriosis

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Dawn Carlson MD MPH Vice President, General Medicine Development AbbVie 

Dr. Carlson

Dr. Dawn Carlson MD MPH
Vice President, General Medicine Development
AbbVie 

MedicalResearch.com: Please provide some background on this announcement. Would you briefly explain what endometriosis is? Whom does it affect and how does it interfere with quality of life?

Response: Endometriosis is one of the most common gynecologic disorders in the U.S that affects an estimated one in 10 women of reproductive age. It occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus starts growing outside of the uterus, where it doesn’t belong.

The symptoms of endometriosis, including pain with menstrual periods and between periods, and with sexual intercourse, can be debilitating and significantly impact day-to-day activities of women’s lives, personally and professionally. Unfortunately, women with endometriosis can suffer for up to 10 years and visit multiple physicians before receiving a proper diagnosis. Unresolved endometriosis pain results in higher healthcare costs from emergency department visits and repeat surgeries.  Continue reading

Flu: Novel Oral Single Dose Antiviral Baloxavir Marboxil Reduced Symptoms in High Risk Patients

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Mark Eisner MD MPH Vice President and Global Head of Respiratory Actemra, ID, and Metabolism Clinical Development at Genentech Professor of Clinical Medicine University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Mark Eisner


Mark Eisner MD MPH

Mark D. Eisner, MD, MPH
Vice President, Product Development Immunology, Infectious Disease, and Ophthalmology
Genentech

 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Would you briefly explain how 
baloxavir marboxil differs from other flu treatments? 

Response: CAPSTONE-2 is a Phase III multicenter, randomized, double-blind study that evaluated a single dose of baloxavir marboxil compared with placebo and oseltamivir in people 12 years and older who are at a high risk of complications from the flu. The high risk inclusion criteria in CAPSTONE-2 were aligned with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which defines people at high risk for serious flu complications to include adults 65 years of age or older, or those who have conditions such as asthma, chronic lung disease, diabetes or heart disease. For these people, flu can lead to hospitalization or even death. Participants enrolled in the study were randomly assigned to receive a single dose of 40 mg or 80 mg of baloxavir marboxil (according to body weight), placebo or 75 mg of oseltamivir twice a day for five days.

The FDA recently accepted a New Drug Application (NDA) and granted Priority Review to baloxavir marboxil as a single-dose, oral treatment for acute, uncomplicated influenza in people 12 years and older. The NDA was based on results from the Phase III CAPSTONE-1 study of a single dose of baloxavir marboxil compared with placebo or oseltamivir 75 mg, twice daily for five days, in otherwise healthy people with the flu. Results from a placebo-controlled Phase II study in otherwise healthy people with the flu were included as supporting data in the NDA. The FDA is expected to make a decision on approval by December 24, 2018.

Baloxavir marboxil is a first-in-class, single-dose investigational oral medicine with a novel proposed mechanism of action designed to target the influenza A and B viruses, including oseltamivir-resistant strains and avian strains (H7N9, H5N1). Unlike other currently available antiviral treatments, baloxavir marboxil is the first in a new class of antivirals designed to inhibit the cap-dependent endonuclease protein within the flu virus, which is essential for viral replication. By inhibiting this protein, baloxavir marboxil prevents viral replication earlier in the flu virus life cycle. Continue reading

Lupus: Phase 2 Trial of Baricitinib Improved Signs and Symptoms

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Daniel J. Wallace M.D., FACP, MACR Associate Director, Rheumatology Fellowship Program Board of Governors, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Professor of Medicine, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center David Geffen School of Medicine Center at UCLA In affiliation with Attune Health  Beverly Hills, Ca 90211

Dr. Wallace

Daniel J. Wallace M.D., FACP, MACR
Associate Director, Rheumatology Fellowship Program
Board of Governors, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Professor of Medicine, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
David Geffen School of Medicine Center at UCLA
In affiliation with Attune Health
Beverly Hills, Ca 90211

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

 

Response: This is the first positive study of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) using baricitinib,  a small oral molecule that blocks the JAK system.

The human kinome consists of 500 genes and helps regulate cell surface receptor interaction. While agents that inhibit certain pathways are approved for rheumatoid arthritis and certain malignancies, this is the first study of its kind in SLE.

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Diabetes: Switching to Sulfonylureas from Metformin Linked to Increased Side Effects

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Samy Suissa, PhD Director, Centre for Clinical Epidemiology, Lady Davis Institute Professor, Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and of Medicine McGill University

Dr. Suissa

Samy Suissa, PhD
Director, Centre for Clinical Epidemiology, Lady Davis Institute
Professor, Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and of Medicine
McGill University 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Sulfonylureas are widely used oral antidiabetic drugs that are recommended as second-line treatments after first-line metformin to treat patients with type 2 diabetes. While their safety has been studied extensively, studies in patients with poorly controlled diabetes in need of pharmacotherapy escalation have been sparse and limited. Our study evaluated whether adding or switching to sulfonylureas after initiating metformin treatment is associated with increased cardiovascular or hypoglycaemic risks, compared with remaining on metformin monotherapy.

Using a large cohort of over 77,000 patients initiating treatment with metformin monotherapy, we found that adding or switching to sulfonylureas is associated with modest increases of 26% in the risk of myocardial infarction and 28% in the risk of death, as well as an over 7-fold major increase in the risk of severe hypoglycaemia leading to hospitalisation.

In particular, we found that switching from metformin to sulfonylureas was associated with higher risks of myocardial infarction and death, compared with adding sulfonylureas to metformin.  Continue reading

Two Studies Evaluate Monoclonal Antibody Tralokinumab For Asthma

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Reynold A. Panettieri, Jr., M.D. Professor of Medicine, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Vice Chancellor, Clinical & Translational Science Director, Rutgers Institute for Translational Medicine & Science Emeritus Professor of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Child Health Institute of New Jersey Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey New Brunswick, NJ  08901

Dr. Panettieri

Reynold A. Panettieri, Jr., M.D.
Professor of Medicine, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Vice Chancellor, Clinical & Translational Science
Director, Rutgers Institute for Translational Medicine & Science
Emeritus Professor of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Child Health Institute of New Jersey
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ  08901

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Severe asthma is characterized by Type 2 inflammation manifested by increases in IL-13, IL-4 and Il-5 levels in the airways that promotes airway hyperresponsiveness and in part irreversible airway obstruction.  These clinical manifestations profoundly increase asthma morbidity and mortality.

To address an unmet therapeutic need, Tralokinumab was developed as a monoclonal antibody targeting soluble IL-13 with the goal of improving lung function and patient reported outcomes while decreasing annual exacerbation rates.  Stratus 1 and 2 represent two identical randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 clinical trials in severe asthma.  These international trials enrolled approximately 2000 subjects with severe asthma and examined whether Tralokinumab decreased annualized exacerbation rates (AER) as compared with placebo (primary outcome).

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Dapagliflozin (Farxiga®)Added to Insulin for Type 1 Diabetes May Improve Glycemic Control

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Chantal Mathieu, MD, PhD Professor of Medicine Clinical and Experimental Endocrinology Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium

Dr. Mathieu

Chantal Mathieu, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine
Clinical and Experimental Endocrinology
Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: People with type 1 diabetes (T1D) are confronted often with the inability to achieve satisfactory glycemic control, being good HbA1c, but in particular stable glycemic control, avoiding hyperglycemic events, but also hypoglycemic events, despite novel insulins and novel technologies. Moreover, intensive insulin therapy is often associated with weight gain, leading to an increase in overweight and obesity also in people with T1D. All of these issues affect quality of life.

In the DEPICT 2 study we examined the impact of adding a selective SGLT2 inhibitor, dapagliflozin (two doses tested – 5 and 10mg) in a double blinded manner versus placebo to background insulin (MDI or CSII) in people with T1D reaching insufficient glycemic control (HbA1c 7.5-10.5%). Primary endpoint was lowering in HbA1c at 24 weeks and secondary endpoints included insulin dose reduction and weight reduction as well as a composite endpoint of having a HbA1c drop of >=0.5% without severe hypoglycemia. The study ran internationally, with about 1/3 of patients coming from North America, 1/3 from Europe and 1/5 from Asia (Japan).

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Does Preloading With a Nicotine Patch Help Smokers Quit?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Day 1 of nicotine patch, just stuffed my face with lunch at work and do NOT even want a cigarette” by David Bruce Jr. is licensed under CC BY 2.0Paul Aveyard
Professor of Behavioural Medicine
Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences
University of Oxford
Radcliffe Primary Care Building
Radcliffe Observatory Quarter
Oxford

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Tobacco addiction occurs because of repeated pairings of the act and sensation of smoking with binding of nicotine in the midbrain leading to release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens. These repeated pairings create associative learning and, when brain nicotine concentrations fall, this produces a compulsion to keep using tobacco. In theory, blocking the actions of nicotine released while smoking ought to reverse this learning. One way to do this is to use a nicotine patch which provides a steady state high concentration of nicotine that desensitises the nicotinic receptors in the midbrain, making them unresponsive to nicotine from a smoked cigarette. This is the theory behind nicotine preloading.

The clinical trial evidence that preloading works is equivocal, with some trials suggesting a very large therapeutic effect and others no benefit at all. In the light of both the promise and the uncertainty, we aimed to complete the largest trial to date of nicotine preloading to examine its effectiveness, safety, and tolerability.

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Amgen Tests IL-Blocker To Treat Symptoms of Hidden Gluten Consumption in Celiac Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Markku Mäki, MD, PhD Professor (emeritus) at the University of Tampere and Presently research director at the Tampere University Hospital Tampere, Finland

Prof. Mäki

Markku Mäki, MD, PhD
Professor (emeritus) at the University of Tampere and
Presently research director at the
Tampere University Hospital
Tampere, Finland

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The only treatment for this life-long gluten-induced autoimmune systemic disease is a strict avoidance of wheat, rye and barley, the food cereals which contain gluten, the environmental trigger and driving force in celiac disease.  Gluten causes intestinal
inflammation, usually with (but sometimes without) gastrointestinal or
nutritional symptoms or signs, and with frequent extra-intestinal
diseases. However, it is impossible for celiac disease patients to
avoid gluten entirely and indefinitely and a third of patients report
symptoms on a strict gluten-free diet. Gut mucosal healing is not
optimal in half of the patients, and inflammation and injury is
detected for years after starting the diet, presumably due to
contamination with gluten in the diet. This is why patients are
requesting, and academia and industry are looking for novel adjunct
therapies for celiac disease. Initially, these therapies are tested to
prevent the consequences of hidden gluten; the ultimate goal being
that also celiacs could one day eat safely wheat, barley and rye
products. Some 20 novel experimental therapies are at present actively
being investigated (modifying wheat or different drugs, devices and
vaccines/immunotherapy).

The present study investigated whether blocking interleukin 15, an
important mediator of celiac disease, reduces or prevents
gluten-driven ill health, both the inflammation and injury at the
small intestinal mucosal level and gluten-induced symptoms. The
experimental drug used was Amgen’s AMG 714, a human monoclonal
antibody, used at a low and high dose, in the presence or absence of a
high-dose gluten challenge. Continue reading

What Surveillance Testing Should Be Done After Melanoma Diagnosis?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

This image depicts the gross appearance of a cutaneous pigmented lesion, which had been diagnosed as superficial spreading malignant melanoma (SSMM). Note the roughened edges of this mole, and its heterogeneous, mottled, multicolored appearance, which are all characteristics that should evoke suspicions about its classification.

This image depicts the gross appearance of a cutaneous pigmented lesion, which had been diagnosed as superficial spreading malignant melanoma (SSMM). Note the roughened edges of this mole, and its heterogeneous, mottled, multicolored appearance, which are all characteristics that should evoke suspicions about its classification.
CDC Image

Dr. Diwakar Davar, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Division of Hematology/Oncology
University of Pittsburgh 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The optimal surveillance strategy to detect recurrence in cutaneous melanoma remains elusive. Risk of recurrence increases with higher stage, and is especially high for patients with stage IIIC disease. Although consensus guidelines agree on surveillance imaging for high-risk (stage IIB-IIIC) MEL, there is no consensus regarding optimal frequency/modality in these patients. NCCN guidelines suggest chest radiography (CXR) at 6- to 12-month intervals for stage IA-IIA melanoma  patients; although this is controversial. There exists a great deal of practice variation in the surveillance of these patients. Continue reading

Nintedanib (OFEV®) May Offer Survival Advantage for IPF Patients

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Christopher J. Ryerson, M.D. Assistant Professor Centre for Heart Lung Innovation University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada

Dr. Ryerson

Christopher J. Ryerson, M.D.
Assistant Professor
Centre for Heart Lung Innovation
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, Canada

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: A new Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) mortality analysis presented at the American Thoracic Society’s 2018 annual conference suggests that treatment with nintedanib may be associated with reduced risk of death in patients with the rare lung disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

Pooled data from the two Phase II INPULSIS trials and the Phase II TOMORROW study compared the number of deaths observed versus the number predicted based on GAP stage over one year. GAP stage is used to predict IPF prognosis and is based on gender, age and lung function (as measured by forced vital capacity [FVC] decline predicted and DLco % predicted). Higher stages of GAP are associated with an increased risk of death.

Across the population in the analysis (n=1,228), there were fewer deaths observed in each treatment group than predicted based on GAP stage at baseline (nintedanib: 42 vs. 89.9; placebo: 41 vs. 64.2). In the treated group, the number of observed deaths was 46.7% of the number predicted based on GAP stage, while in the placebo group the number of observed deaths was 63.9% of the number predicted. Based on these observations, the analysis suggests that nintedanib may be associated with a 26.8% relative reduction in the risk of death compared with placebo over one year.  Continue reading

Zosano Developing Dermal Patch to Quickly Relieve Migraine Pain

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Zosano Pharma
Dr. Peter Schmidt, MD, MSc

Senior Director, medical Affairs and Clinical Development
Zosano Pharma

 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: This was a post-hoc analysis of Zosano’s pivotal efficacy trial using its adhesive dermally-applied microarray (ADAM) zolmitriptan formulation, M207. The trial found that M207 was effective versus placebo for the co-primary endpoints of pain freedom and most bothersome symptom (MBS) freedom, both at two hours. The MBS endpoint was just ratified as a new endpoint in the FDA’s February 2018 guidance for acute migraine trials. The stated aim of this new endpoint is “…to better align the study outcome with the symptom(s) of primary importance to patients…” This is logical, as a given migraine patient may not experience all four previous symptom endpoints (pain, photophobia, phonophobia, nausea). Continue reading

Combination Therapy Could Dramatically Alter CLL Treatment

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Danelle James,

Dr. James

Dr. Danelle James, M.D., M.A.S.
Head of Clinical Science
Pharmacyclics, an AbbVie Company

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: CAPTIVATE is a Phase 2 study investigating IMBRUVICA (ibrutinib) plus VENCLEXTA (venetoclax) for the treatment of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) in the first-line setting. It was designed to evaluate if remission with undetectable minimal residual disease (MRD) can provide treatment-naïve CLL/SLL patients with treatment holidays (a period of time when a patient is able to stop therapy). The study enrolled 164 patients with previously untreated CLL or SLL.

In preclinical and ongoing clinical studies, we’ve seen complementary activities with this combination. The combination has also previously shown potential for deeper remissions, as well as potential for lower risk of tumor lysis syndrome with ibrutinib as the lead-in therapy.

Early data from CAPTIVATE show promising activity for the combination in this patient population, with 77 percent of the first 30 patients achieving responses with no detectable MRD in the blood after only six cycles of the combination therapy. Approximately nine out of 10 of the first patients achieved undetectable MRD after 12 cycles of combination therapy (which were preceded by three cycles of single agent ibrutinib, for a total of 15 cycles of therapy). Specifically, 86 percent of the first 14 patients achieved undetectable MRD in the marrow and 93 percent in the peripheral blood.

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Pressure To Produce Cheaper Generics Linked to More Hazardous Drug Recalls

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“pills” by Dominique Godbout is licensed under CC BY 2.0George P. Ball PhD
Operations and Decision Technologies Department
Kelley School of Business, Indiana University
Bloomington, IN 47405,

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We sought to examine how the intense pressure on firms to produce generic drugs more cheaply might influence product quality.

We find that the greater proportion of generic drugs a firm manufactures, the more severe product recalls they experience, because of an apparent relaxation of manufacturing quality standards. Additionally, they experience fewer less severe recalls, which may also result from forces of competition.

When the opportunity exists to not announce a recall that has high discretion, competition may lead firms to forgo the recall to avoid negative ramifications associated with recalls.

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Apalutamide (Erleada™) Extended Metastasis-Free Survival in Resistant Prostate Cancer

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Fred Saad, MD FRCS Full Professor and Chief of Urologic Oncology, CHUM; Medical Director of Interdisciplinary Urologic Oncology Group, CHUM; Department of Surgery/Faculty of Medicine; Institut du cancer de Montréal/CRCHUM

Dr. Saad

Dr. Fred Saad, MD FRCS
Full Professor and Chief of Urologic Oncology, CHUM;
Medical Director of Interdisciplinary Urologic Oncology Group, CHUM;
Department of Surgery/Faculty of Medicine;
Institut du cancer de Montréal/CRCHUM

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The SPARTAN study was a Phase 3, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter study that evaluated ERLEADA (apalutamide), a next-generation androgen signaling inhibitor, in patients with non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (nmCRPC) who had a rapidly rising PSA (PSA doubling time ≤10 months). The post-hoc analysis presented at the American Urological Association (AUA) 2018 annual meeting showed in patients who received the treatment apalutamide while receiving continuous androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) significantly decreased the risk of PSA progression by 94 percent compared with the placebo group. Continue reading

Lokelma Receives FDA Approval To Treat Elevated Potassium, Hyperkalemia

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Steven Fishbane, MD, Chief, Division of Kidney Disease and Hypertension, Northwell Health Vice President, Northwell Health for Network Dialysis Services, Northwell Health Professor of Medicine, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell Lead investigator of the ZS 005 study.

Dr. Fishbane

Steven Fishbane, MD,
Chief, Division of Kidney Disease and Hypertension, Northwell Health
Vice President, Northwell Health for Network Dialysis Services, Northwell Health
Professor of Medicine, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
Lead investigator of the ZS 005 study

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this announcement? Would you briefly explain what is meant by hyperkalemia?What are the dangers of an elevated potassium and how does LOKELMA differ from prior standard treatments?

 Response: Hyperkalemia is when the potassium in the blood rises to potentially harmful levels. High potassium is primarily harmful for the heart. As the potassium level rises the risk for abnormal electrical rhythms or disruption of the heart’s pumping occur. When severe, a high potassium level can cause death.

Lokelma has been demonstrated to be effective for lowering potassium levels with a great degree of consistency. It is well tolerated and has a fairly rapid onset of potassium lowering compared to other drugs for the purpose.  Continue reading

DARZALEX® (daratumumab) Approved for Newly Diagnosed Patients with Multiple Myeloma who are Transplant Ineligible

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Andrzej Jakubowiak, MD, PhD Professor of Medicine Director, Myeloma Program University of Chicago

Dr. Jakubowiak


Andrzej Jakubowiak, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine
Director, Myeloma Program
University of Chicago

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this announcement? Would you briefly explain what is meant by multiple myeloma?

 

Response: DARZALEX (daratumumab) in combination with VELCADE (bortezomib), melphalan and prednisone – VMP – received U.S. FDA approval for the treatment of patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who are ineligible for autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT). With this most recent approval, DARZALEX is now the first monoclonal antibody approved for newly diagnosed patients with this disease.

Multiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer that occurs when malignant plasma cells grow uncontrollably in the bone marrow. Despite the introduction of new medicines over the last decade, which has led to significant improvements in outcomes for patients with multiple myeloma, multiple myeloma remains an incurable disease. In 2018, it is estimated that 30,700 people will be diagnosed and 12,770 will die from the disease in the United States.

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Cannabidiol Reduced Drop Seizures in Severe Epilepsy Disorder

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

https://www.gwpharm.com/epilepsy-patients-caregivers/patientsAnup Patel, M.D.
Section Chief of Neurology
Interim Division Chief of Neurology
Nationwide Children’s Hospital


MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The study evaluated kids and adults with an epilepsy syndrome (Lennox Gastaut Syndrome – LGS) that is often difficult to treat and does not respond well to current medical treatment.  The study was a double blind randomized control trial evaluating how well a plant based, liquid solution, cannabidiol (CBD) product made by Greenwich Biosciences called Epidiolex helped to treat drop seizures (the most common seizure type in LGS) and how safe it was compared to placebo.  Two doses (10 mg/kg/day and 20 mg/kg/day) were evaluated compared to placebo.

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More Opioids Prescribed By Doctors Who Received Free Pharmaceutical Lunches

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Big Lunch Extras Reading” by Big Lunch Extras is licensed under CC BY 2.0Scott E. Hadland, MD, MPH, MS
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics | Boston University School of Medicine
Boston Medical Center
Director of Urban Health & Advocacy Track | Boston Combined Residency Program
Boston, MA 02118

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Numerous pharmaceutical companies have received media attention for their role in promoting opioid prescribing through speaker programs and other marketing plans in which large-value payments are given to a small number of doctors to promote opioids.

In our study, we sought to tell the other side of the story. We wanted to identify whether low-value marketing, including industry-sponsored meals, which are commonplace in the US, were associated with increased opioid prescribing.

We found that 1 in 14 doctors received opioid marketing from pharmaceutical companies in 2014, and those that received marketing prescribed 9% more opioids the following year. With each additional meal a doctor received, he or she prescribed more and more opioids the following year. Our sample included 43% of the active physician workforce in the US, suggesting how widespread and far-reaching this effect might be.

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Pneumonia Patients on Ventilators May Benefit from New Ceftolozane/Tazobactam Antibiotics

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Elizabeth Rhee MD Director, Infectious Disease Clinical Research at Merck

Dr. Rhee

Dr. Elizabeth Rhee MD
Director, Infectious Disease Clinical Research Merck

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: High-risk patients, such as the critically ill, with suspected bacterial infections require prompt treatment with appropriate empiric therapy to improve survival. Given the high prevalence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the ICU setting, new safe and broadly effective treatment options are needed for critically ill patients requiring antipseudomonal agents.

Ceftolozane/tazobactam (C/T) is an antipseudomonal cephalosporin/beta-lactamase inhibitor combination with broad in vitro activity against Gram-negative pathogens, including MDR P. aeruginosa and many extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) producers. It is FDA approved for complicated intra-abdominal and urinary tract infections in adults at 1.5g (1g/0.5g) q8h. C/T is currently being studied at 3g (2g/1g) q8h, for the treatment of ventilated nosocomial pneumonia, in the ASPECT-NP Phase 3 trial.

This Phase 1 pharmacokinetic (PK) study investigated the penetration of a 3g dose of C/T in the epithelial lining fluid (ELF) of ventilated patients with proven or suspected pneumonia. This is the dose and patient population being evaluated in ASPECT-NP. ELF lines the alveoli, and investigators took samples in a group of 26 patients to see what amount of C/T was in the lung and what was circulating in the plasma during the dosing intervals.

In mechanically ventilated critically ill patients, the 3g dose of C/T achieved ≥50% lung penetration (relative to free plasma) and sustained levels in ELF above the target concentrations for the entire dosing interval. These findings support the 3g dose that is included in the ASPECT-NP Phase 3 trial.  Continue reading