AstraZeneca, Author Interviews, Pulmonary Disease / 22.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Frank Trudo, MD MBA Vice President, US Medical Affairs Respiratory & Immunology AstraZeneca  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: ETHOS was a randomized, double-blinded, multi-center, parallel-group, 52-week trial to assess the efficacy and safety of PT010 in symptomatic patients with moderate to very severe COPD and a history of exacerbation(s) in the previous year. A subset of patients participated in the 4-hour pulmonary function test (PFT) sub-study, with the following primary endpoints: change from baseline in morning pre-dose trough FEV1 at Week 24 at (both doses of budesonide/glycopyrrolate/formoterol fumarate MDI versus glycopyrrolate/formoterol fumarate MDI), and FEV1 area under the curve from 0-4 hours at Week 24 (both doses of budesonide/glycopyrrolate/formoterol fumarate MDI vs budesonide/formoterol fumarate MDI).  (more…)
ASCO, AstraZeneca, Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research / 02.06.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Josefa Briceno, MD Medical Head, DDR/ADC Franchise AstraZenca  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In January 2018, the US FDA expanded the approved use of LYNPARZA to treat patients with HER2- negative metastatic breast cancer with germline BRCA mutations based on positive results from the Phase III OlympiAD trial, which demonstrated the benefit of LYNPARZA over standard of care in physician’s choice chemotherapy in this patient population. LUCY is a Phase IIIb interim analysis aimed to evaluate the clinical effectiveness and safety of LYNPARZA in a real-world setting and has been expanded to include a group of patients with somatic BRCA mutations. A total of 252 patients with HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer with germline BRCA mutations were enrolled in the open-label, single-arm, Phase IIIb study. Patients received a taxane and/or anthracycline in the (neo)adjuvant/metastatic setting, and ≤2 lines of chemotherapy. The primary end point of the study was investigator-defined progression-free survival (PFS), and secondary end points included overall survival, time to first subsequent therapy or death, and investigator-assessed clinical response rate. The interim analysis was planned to take place after 160 progression-free survival events. Overall, treatment lasted for a median of 7.9 months, and the median progression-free survival was 8.1 months (95% confidence interval of 6.9-8.7; 166 progression-free survival events). In addition, the median time to first subsequent therapy or death was 9.7 months (95% confidence interval of 8.7-11.1) and the investigator-assessed clinical response rate was 48.6% (95% confidence interval of 42.2-55.0). Adverse events of all grades were reported in >20% of patients were nausea, anemia, asthenia, vomiting, and fatigue. Grade ≥3 adverse events were reported in 24.6% of patients, and 4.4% of patients had an adverse event that led to treatment discontinuation. (more…)
Allergies, Asthma, AstraZeneca, Author Interviews / 01.05.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: astrazenecaOlga Ryan, DrPH, MPH, MBA Regional Clinical Account Director, Southwest AstraZeneca  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Asthma is common and imparts a substantial societal burden. It is well documented that asthma prevalence varies between males and females. Before puberty, more boys have asthma.  Following puberty, a greater proportion of women suffer with asthma. We also have observed that women experience greater morbidity from the illness, greater healthcare resource utilization and suboptimal response for guideline recommended therapies (ICS, ICS/LABA). Rationale for this study focused on describing asthma related outcomes between a well characterized severe asthma cohort, with intent in delineating differences among the sexes. With the advent of targeted biological medicines for severe asthma, as well as apparent gaps in knowledge, we wanted to understand potential sex-specific disease indicators in a well characterized severe asthma cohort. (more…)
Asthma, AstraZeneca, Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care / 01.05.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yen Chung, PharmD Payer Evidence Director US Medical Affairs, AstraZeneca MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Among patients with persistent asthma, use of systemic corticosteroids (SCS) is typically reserved for treatment of asthma exacerbations and as a supplemental maintenance therapy for patients whose disease remains uncontrolled with maximum maintenance controller therapies. However, SCS therapy comes with known risks for acute and chronic complications. It is well established that patients with severe asthma are responsible for a disproportionate amount of the economic burden of asthma;  however, less clear is the extent to which systemic corticosteroids use and its consequences specifically contributes to the cost burden of asthma. The purpose of this study was to use administrative claims to follow asthma patients with and without SCS treatment for up to 3 years and compare their complication rates, health care resource utilization, and costs.  (more…)
AstraZeneca, Author Interviews, Pulmonary Disease / 17.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview from: AstraZeneca Spokesperson MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly explain what is meant by COPD? How common is severe COPD? Response: COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a progressive disease associated mainly with tobacco smoking, air pollution or occupational exposure, which can cause obstruction of airflow in the lungs making it hard to breathe. In the United States, COPD is the fourth leading cause of death. Its prevalence in adults 18 years of age and older is 6.5 percent. An estimated 16 million people are currently diagnosed with COPD, and millions more are believed to have it but do not know it. ETHOS is a randomized, double-blind, multi-center, parallel-group, 52-week trial to assess the efficacy and safety of PT010 in symptomatic patients with moderate to very severe COPD and a history of exacerbation(s) in the previous year. The trial compared two doses given twice daily of PT010 (320/14.4/9.6mcg and 160/14.4/9.6mcg) with glycopyrrolate/formoterol fumarate (14.4/9.6mcg) and PT009 (320/9.6mcg), all using AEROSPHERETM Delivery Technology in a pressurized metered-dose inhaler (pMDI). Outcomes in the ETHOS trial included, as a primary endpoint, the rate of moderate or severe exacerbations. The Phase III ETHOS trial builds on the Phase III KRONOS data which together show PT010’s ability to reduce exacerbation risk in a broad range of patients with COPD, irrespective of whether they have had an exacerbation in the previous twelve months. (more…)
AstraZeneca, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Diabetes, Heart Disease / 10.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. David Berg MD Senior Fellow in Cardiovascular Medicine and Critical Care Medicine Brigham and Women’s Hospital Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the TIMI Study Group. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Heart failure is a frequent and important complication of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), but there are limited tools for identifying which patients with T2DM are at the highest risk of developing heart failure. In this study, we developed and validated the TIMI Risk Score for Heart Failure in Diabetes [TRS-HF(DM)], a novel clinical risk score that identifies patients with T2DM who are at heightened risk for hospitalization due to heart failure. Fortunately, the risk score also identifies patients who have the greatest absolute reduction in the risk of hospitalization for heart failure with a new class of glucose-lowering therapies called sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Heart Disease / 06.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nicolas Danchin MD, FESC Professor of Medicine, Consultant Cardiologist Intensive Cardiac Care Unit Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou Paris, France MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: FAST-MI is a programme of nationwide French surveys, carried out every 5 years in France since 2005 in patients hospitalised with STEMI or NSTEMI. Patients are included consecutively for one month and 10-year follow-up is organized. We can thus analyse patients' outcomes in relation with their profile. Knowing that diabetic patients represent a large proportion of patients with AMI, we thought it would be worthwhile determining whether they suffered specific complications, and in particular, heart failure, both at the acute stage and in the subsequent months. (more…)
AstraZeneca, Author Interviews, Kidney Disease, Mineral Metabolism / 08.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Steven Fishbane MD Chief, Division of Kidney Disease and Hypertension Vice President, Northwell Health for Network Dialysis Services, Northwell Health Professor of Medicine Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell Department of Medicine, Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, Great Neck, New York  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Patients on hemodialysis have a great frequency of hyperkalemia. The hemodialysis treatment removes some potassium but not enough to get rid of this problem. Available medications to bind potassium have not been tested among these patients. The purpose of the study was to see if sodium zirconium cyclosilicate could be used as a potassium binder to reduce the risk of hyperkalemia in patients on a hemodialysis. (more…)
AstraZeneca, Author Interviews, Diabetes, Kidney Disease / 24.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Naeem Khan MD Vice President at AstraZeneca  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: A pre-specified exploratory analysis of renal data from the DECLARE-TIMI 58 trial, the largest SGLT-2 inhibitor (SGLT-2i) cardiovascular outcomes trial (CVOT) conducted to date, showed that FARXIGA (dapagliflozin) reduced the composite of kidney function decline, end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or renal death by 47% in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). Additionally, FARXIGA reduced the relative risk of a cardio-renal composite of kidney function decline, ESRD, or renal or cardiovascular (CV) death by 24% compared to placebo. The analysis evaluated 17,160 patients with type 2 diabetes and predominantly preserved renal function, irrespective of underlying atherosclerotic CV disease (ASCVD). (more…)
AstraZeneca, Kidney Disease / 04.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: AstraZenecaJill Davis, MS Director, Health Economics and Outcomes Research AstraZeneca  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Who is most at risk for hyperkalemia post discharge? Response: In the United States, an estimated 30 million people suffer from chronic kidney disease (CKD), about 3.7 million of which have hyperkalemia (elevated potassium level). Hyperkalemia (HK) can be chronic, so it’s important that those who have been diagnosed with hyperkalemia previously or have CKD have their potassium levels monitored by their healthcare provider. Additionally, although HK is estimated to be prevalent in more than 66,000 emergency department (ED) visits annually, there is limited knowledge about the management of patients with HK in the ED setting and post-discharge. We decided to focus our study to better understand and compare the ED management and post-discharge outcomes among patients with varying levels of hyperkalemia To conduct this study, we analyzed the electronic medical record data from the Research Action for Health Network (2012-2018) of 6,222 adult patients with a randomly selected HK-related ED visit. We concluded that improved management of HK patients in the ED and post-discharge period is needed to reduce the recurrence of hyperkalemia. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Chemotherapy, NEJM / 27.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rita Mehta, MD, HS Clinical Professor, Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center University of California School of Medicine, Irvine  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Most patients with HR-positive breast cancer become resistant to hormonal therapies like aromatase inhibitor-anastrozole over time, and downregulating estrogen receptor was identified as a mechanism for overcoming or delaying resistance to hormonal therapy in advanced HR-positive breast cancer. The prospective, randomized phase III S0226 trial, first reported by us in NEJM 2012, showed that the selective estrogen receptor degrader fulvestrant in combination with anastrozole significantly improved progression-free survival in 707 women with HR-positive metastatic breast cancer in first-line setting. Treatment with the selective estrogen receptor degrader (SERD) fulvestrant achieved a clinically significant and meaningful improvement in overall survival in patients with hormone receptor (HR)-positive advanced breast cancer in first-line therapy, according to the final analysis of overall survival results from the S0226 study reported by us (Mehta et al. NEJM 2019)
  • Results showed that median overall survival improved by 7.8 months with anastrozole plus fulvestrant (median overall survival = 49.8 months) compared to anastrozole (median overall survival = 42.0 months).
  • The improvement was even greater in patients with endocrine naive disease, with an absolute improvement in median overall survival of 11.9 months.
  • No new safety signals were observed with longer follow-up. 
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Allergies, AstraZeneca, Author Interviews / 01.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mr. Tosh Butt Vice President, Respiratory AstraZeneca Mr. Butt discusses the recent announcement that the FDA has granted Orphan Drug Designation for Fasenra for the treatment of Eosinophilic Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis.  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this announcement? Can you tell us a little more about Eosinophilic Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis/Churg Strauss? How does it differ/resemble severe eosinophilic asthma?
  • The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Orphan Drug Designation (ODD) for FASENRA™ (benralizumab) for the treatment of Eosinophilic Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (EGPA). The ODD application was based on epidemiology demonstrating the rarity of the disease (<200k US patients) and a scientific rationale that FASENRA may benefit patients with this condition. The core role of eosinophilia in EGPA and FASENRA’s demonstrated eosinophil-depleting properties provided this rationale and suggest it may deliver benefit to patients with EGPA.
  • EGPA is a rare autoimmune disease that can cause damage to multiple organs and tissues. EGPA is characterized by inflammation of blood vessels and the presence of elevated levels of eosinophils, a type of white blood cell. All patients with EGPA have very high levels of eosinophils at some point in their disease. FASENRA induces rapid and near-complete depletion of eosinophils in the blood and has proven efficacy in severe eosinophilic asthma, which suggest it may deliver benefit to patients with EGPA. 
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Asthma, AstraZeneca, Author Interviews, Pulmonary Disease / 22.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Asthma Inhaler” by NIAID is licensed under CC BY 2.0Sean O'Quinn MPH Director, Patient Reported Outcomes AstraZeneca  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? How does benralizumab differ from traditional medications for asthma? Response:  FASENRA™ (benralizumab 30mg for subcutaneous injection as add-on maintenance therapy in severe eosinophilic asthma for patients 12 years and older) has a strong clinical profile, including powerful efficacy against exacerbations and the ability to improve lung function. Benralizumab is a respiratory biologic that binds directly to the IL-5α receptor on eosinophils and attracts natural killer cells to induce rapid and near-complete depletion of eosinophils via apoptosis. (NOTE: The mechanism of action of FASENRA in asthma has not been definitively established.) Benralizumab is not indicated for treatment of other eosinophilic conditions or for relief of acute bronchospasm or status asthmaticus. The most common adverse reactions include headache and pharyngitis. Dependence on rescue medications is indicative of poor asthma control. In the Phase III SIROCCO/CALIMA trials, patients with severe eosinophilic asthma had significantly reduced exacerbation frequency and improved lung function when treated with benralizumab 30mg Q8W (first three doses Q4W) vs. placebo. Less was known about the effects of benralizumab on rescue medication usage—specifically daily total rescue medication use, daytime and nighttime rescue medication use, and nighttime awakenings requiring rescue medication use. The aim of this analysis was to understand the potential treatment effects of benralizumab on these parameters.  (more…)
AstraZeneca, Author Interviews, Kidney Disease / 05.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Danilo Verge MD MBA Vice President, CVRM Global Medical Affairs AstraZeneca MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Dapagliflozin, an SGLT2 inhibitor (sodium-glucose co-transporter 2), has been shown to improve glycemic control by decreasing glucose reabsorption in the kidneys and inducing urinary glucose clearance. SGLT2 inhibitors have also been shown to be effective in lowering albuminuria and stabilizing eGFR (estimated glomerular filtration rate). The effect of dapagliflozin on UACR (urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio) has been shown to vary among patients. The objective of this post-hoc analysis, based on the pooled data from 11 randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials, was to assess baseline characteristics and concurrent changes in cardiovascular (CV) risk markers associated with UACR response to dapagliflozin. (more…)
AstraZeneca, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Kidney Disease / 05.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lei Qin MS Director, Health Economics and Payer Analytics AstraZeneca MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitors (RAASi) are guideline-recommended therapies for patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), but are commonly prescribed at suboptimal doses, which has been associated with worsening clinical outcomes. The objective of our study was to estimate the real-world associations between RAASi dose and adverse clinical outcomes in patients prescribed RAASi therapies with new-onset CKD in the UK. (more…)
AstraZeneca, Author Interviews, Kidney Disease, Mineral Metabolism / 05.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rahul Agrawal MD PhD VP, Global Medicines Leader AstraZeneca MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   About the study: HARMONIZE Global is a Phase III, randomized, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving 267 patients with hyperkalemia (mean potassium levels greater than 5.0 mEq/L) in 47 study locations across the Asia Pacific region, which will support registration in Japan, Taiwan, Korea and Russia. Study design: The trial design of HARMONIZE Global is similar to HARMONIZE (NCT02088073) but evaluated two doses of LOKELMATM (sodium zirconium cyclosilicate) instead of three, as well as patients in different geographical regions. (more…)
Asthma, AstraZeneca, Author Interviews, Pulmonary Disease / 20.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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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