Children at risk of developing asthma saw a reduction or elimination of their symptoms when treated early with ALK’s Grazax asthma drug, according to results from a five-year clinical trial published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
The study of more than 800 children between the ages of 5 and 12 also recommends asthma diagnoses among children should be based on several tests over a period of time, a release from Danishdrug maker ALK said.
The company undertook the study beginning in 2009, expecting to discover the impact of grass-allergy drug Grazax (Grastek in North America) on asthma diagnoses. What they found was that early treatment with the medication seemed to thwart development of the disease, even after it was discontinued.
“The landmark GAP trial (uncovered) valuable data about allergic asthma and the potential for preventing it with a new class of clinically proven allergy immunotherapy products such as Grazax,” Erkka Valovirta, an adjunct professor of clinical and pediatric allergology at Finland's University of Turku, said in the release. “These data illustrates the importance of early intervention with the right treatment for children who are at risk of developing this serious condition."
Authorized to treat asthma in Europe since 2006, Grazax is an immunotherapy medication authorized in more than two dozen countries. In Europe and Australia, it is sold as the only such drug with a “disease modifying effect,” the release said.