Background: Comorbid perennial allergic rhinitis (PAR) or year-round aeroallergen sensitivity substantially contributes to disease burden in patients with asthma. Dupilumab blocks the shared receptor for interleukin (IL) 4 and IL-13, key drivers of type 2 inflammation that play important roles in asthma and PAR. In the LIBERTY ASTHMA QUEST trial (NCT02414854), dupilumab reduced severe asthma exacerbations and improved forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) in patients with uncontrolled, moderate-to-severe asthma, with greater efficacy observed in patients with elevated type 2 inflammatory biomarkers at baseline (blood eosinophils and fractional exhaled nitric oxide).
Objective: To assess dupilumab efficacy in LIBERTY ASTHMA QUEST patients with comorbid PAR.
Methods: Severe asthma exacerbation rates, FEV1, asthma control (5-item Asthma Control Questionnaire), rhinoconjunctivitis-specific health-related quality of life (Standardized Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire +12 scores), and type 2 inflammatory biomarkers during the 52-week treatment period were assessed.
Results: A total of 814 of the 1902 patients (42.8%) had comorbid PAR (defined as an allergic rhinitis history and ≥1 perennial aeroallergen specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) level ≥0.35 kU/L at baseline). Dupilumab, 200 and 300 mg every 2 weeks, vs placebo reduced severe exacerbations rates by 32.2% and 34.6% (P < .05 for both) and improved FEV1 at week 12 by 0.14 L and 0.18 L (P < .01 for both); greater efficacy was observed in patients with elevated baseline blood eosinophil counts (≥300 cells/μL) and fractional exhaled nitric oxide. Dupilumab treatment also numerically improved the 5-item Asthma Control Questionnaire and Standardized Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire +12 scores and suppressed type 2 inflammatory biomarkers.
Conclusion: Dupilumab improved key asthma-related outcomes, asthma control, and rhinoconjunctivitis-specific health-related quality of life while suppressing type 2 inflammatory biomarkers and perennial allergen-specific IgE in patients with moderate-to-severe asthma and comorbid PAR, highlighting its dual inhibitory effects on IL-4 and IL-13 and its role in managing asthma and PAR.
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