Last week, the FDA announced the approval of a new medication for asthma, Dupixent. This is the fifth monoclonal antibody approved for asthma, utilizing a fourth mechanism of action.
Unlike steroids, which are known to alter at least 800 different inflammatory chemicals in the body, monoclonal antibodies latch on to a single protein. The trick is to figure out which proteins are most important in asthmatic inflammation in general, and which one or ones might be most important for a given patient. The previously available monoclonal antibodies remove allergic antibodies, making people less allergic, and use two different ways of reducing eosinophils - the cells most associated with inflammation in asthma. The exciting thing about Dupixent is that it binds to a receptor on the surface of cells that is used by two different chemical signals that the immune system uses to start inflammation, offering a different way of blocking inflammation than the others.
Dupixent was approved by the FDA for the treatment of atopic dermatitis (severe eczema) on March 28, 2017, and has been remarkably effective in this troubling disease. Dr. Steven has been very impressed with how well it has been working in the clinical trial for nasal polyps in which we’ve been participating, and we look forward to offering this new treatment option to our patients whose asthma remains only partly controlled despite everything else that has been previously available to provide the asthma control they need.