A 'sur­pris­ing' Phase III knocks back As­traZeneca, Am­gen's block­buster asth­ma am­bi­tions

Two months have brought two very dif­fer­ent re­sults for Am­gen, As­traZeneca and their block­buster-po­ten­tial asth­ma drug.

The com­pa­nies an­nounced Tues­day that the drug — a once-a-month an­ti­body in­fu­sion called teze­pelum­ab — failed in a Phase III tri­al on se­vere asth­ma pa­tients, cloud­ing the piv­otal win they an­nounced last month in the same pa­tient pop­u­la­tion.

Al­though it in­volved the same type of pa­tients, the new tri­al cru­cial­ly mea­sured dif­fer­ent out­comes. While the pos­i­tive Phase III test­ed mea­sured re­duc­tion in asth­ma at­tacks against place­bo plus stan­dard of care, the new one test­ed to see whether the drug re­duced the num­ber of oral cor­ti­cos­teroids pa­tients took to con­trol their asth­ma.

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