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12:00 AM
 | 
Jan 22, 2007
 |  BioCentury  |  Product Development

Double-barreled mutant

Interleukin-4 and the related molecule IL-13 are popular cytokine targets for asthma, but the road hasn't been smooth, as at least two compounds against IL-4 have failed in the clinic. Inhibiting both may turn out to be the right approach, as Aerovance Inc. earlier this month reported positive Phase IIa data for its Aerovant IL-4/IL-13 receptor antagonist.

Inhaled Aerovant (AER-001) met the primary endpoint, with a 72% reduction in the severity of late asthmatic response compared to baseline (p<0.001)(see BioCentury, Jan. 8). In the double-blind, placebo-controlled, U.K. trial in 30 patients, Aerovant also met the secondary endpoint of a reduction in forced expiratory nitric oxide in patients, which the company said indicates a reduction in airway inflammation. Aerovance expects to present full data this year.

While Aerovance used a conventional primary endpoint, the NO endpoint was a bit more exploratory. NO is produced by nitric oxide synthase (NOS), an enzyme involved in inflammation. Exhaled NO is increased in patients with untreated asthma and decreases with corticosteroid treatment; it also correlates with eosinophilic inflammation....

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