Effects of Interleukin-13 Blockade on Allergen-induced Airway Responses in Mild Atopic Asthma Journal Articles uri icon

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  • RATIONALE: Extensive evidence in animal models supports a role for IL-13 in the pathobiology of asthma. IMA-638 and IMA-026 are fully humanized IgG(1) antibodies that bind to different epitopes and neutralize IL-13 bioactivity. OBJECTIVES: We hypothesized that anti-IL-13 treatment would inhibit allergen-induced late-phase asthmatic responses, airway hyperresponsiveness, and inflammation in subjects with asthma. METHODS: Fifty-six subjects with mild, atopic asthma were recruited for two double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel group trials to compare IMA-638 and IMA-026 IL-13 antibody treatments with placebo treatment. Drug was administered on Days 1 and 8, and allergen challenges were performed on Days 14 and 35. The primary outcome variable was the late-phase area under the curve (AUC), and secondary outcome variables were the early- and late-phase maximum percent fall in FEV(1), early AUC, allergen-induced shift in airway hyperresponsiveness, and sputum eosinophils. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The treatment difference with IMA-638 on Day 14 was -19.1 FEV(1) × hour (95% confidence interval: -36.2, -1.9) for the allergen-induced early AUC and -23.8 FEV(1) × hour (95% confidence interval: -46.4, -1.2) for the late AUC (both P < 0.05), but this effect was lost by Day 35. Treatment with IMA-026 did not attenuate the asthmatic responses on Day 14 or Day 35. There was no effect of either antibody on allergen-induced airway hyperresponsiveness or sputum eosinophils. The frequency of adverse events after administration of the IL-13 antibodies was similar to placebo. CONCLUSIONS: IL-13 has a role in allergen-induced airway responses in humans. Further study is required to determine whether anti-IL-13 monoclonal antibodies will be beneficial clinically.


  • Gauvreau, Gail
  • Boulet, Louis-Philippe
  • Cockcroft, Donald W
  • FitzGerald, J Mark
  • Carlsten, Chris
  • Davis, Beth E
  • Deschesnes, Francine
  • Duong, MyLinh
  • Durn, Billie L
  • Howie, Karen J
  • Hui, Linda
  • Kasaian, Marion T
  • Killian, Kieran
  • Strinich, Tara X
  • Watson, Richard M
  • Y, Nathalie
  • Zhou, Simon
  • Raible, Donald
  • O'Byrne, Paul

publication date

  • April 15, 2011