Dupilumab listed on the PBS for severe asthma


By Mardi Chapman

31 Mar 2021

Dupilumab (Dupixent) will be added to the PBS from Thursday, April 1 for adolescents from age 12 years and adults with uncontrolled severe type 2 asthma.

The PBS listing of the monoclonal antibody, which targets both IL-4 and IL-13, will benefit an estimated 1,700 people with allergic or eosinophilic asthma.

Commenting on the new indication, Associate Professor David Langton, Director of Thoracic Medicine at Peninsula Health in Melbourne, said that most patients with severe disease have a mixture of phenotypes.

“By targeting two cytokines responsible for type 2 inflammation, Dupixent makes it possible to treat patients with severe uncontrolled asthma, regardless of whether they have allergic or eosinophilic asthma, or a mixture of both,” he said in a statement issued on behalf of Sanofi.

“As our understanding of the cause of severe and uncontrolled asthma increases, so too does our ability to target and counter the immune-driven inflammatory response.”

“Alongside improved lung function and fewer exacerbations, Dupixent can reduce the need for oral corticosteroids – an important goal of treatment.”

Associate Professor Langton was a co-investigator on the LIBERTY ASTHMA TRAVERSE study which was last presented at ERS last year. As reported in the limbic, it demonstrated long term clinical efficacy in an open label extension of earlier trials.

Pivotal trials have shown dupilumab reduces severe exacerbations of asthma, is steroid sparing, and improves lung function, asthma control and quality of life.

The PBAC noted at their November 2020 meeting that claims of non-inferior comparative effectiveness between dupilumab and omalizumab, benralizumab and mepolizumab were reasonable.

Dupixent was also recently PBS-listed for atopic dermatitis.

Also listed on the PBS from 1 April is the Enerzair Breezhaler (indacaterol + glycopyronum + mometasone).

Health Minister Greg Hunt said the listing will provide a new treatment option for over 80,000 Australians with other severe forms of asthma.


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