Mid-stage data on Roche's lebrikizumab shows that the drug significantly reduced attacks in patients with severe uncontrolled asthma, providing a personalised approach to the condition.

The Swiss major has presented Phase IIb data at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology meeting in San Diego which show that asthma attacks were reduced by 60% in lebrikizumab-treated patients with a high level of the biomarker periostin, compared to only 5% in those with a low level of that protein. The data also showed that in patients with high periostin levels, lebrikizumab improved lung function.

Roche noted that the use of periostin as a biomarker provides a personalised healthcare approach in asthma and will be further evaluated in ongoing clinical studies. Lebrikizumab is designed to specifically block the action of interleukin-13 (IL-13), a cytokine that contributes to airway inflammation and asthma disease process in some patients. Blocking this cytokine and measuring periostin with a blood test may predict which patients with severe uncontrolled asthma could benefit.

Lebrikizumab is currently being evaluated in adults with severe uncontrolled asthma in two Phase III studies and is in seven ongoing or planned trials, including one for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.