Covishield manufacturer AstraZeneca developed a drug named Tezepelumab in collaboration with Amgen, the America-based international biopharmaceutical company, to cure severe Asthma. “This is the only biologic drug to consistently and significantly reduce asthma exacerbation in a broad proportion across phase 2 and phase 3 of clinical trials”, assured the corporation.
The food and drug administration (FDA) of the United States, has provided a Priority Review for AstraZeneca’s Biologics Licence Application (BLA) and if everything goes well based on “Novelty” and efficiency of the drug, the expected launch date is in the first quarter of 2022 for the clinical usage to treat the asthmatic patients.
Before understanding the mechanism of the Tezepelumab, you must know what TSLP is and its correlations with the worsening of asthma.
What is TSLP?
The host’s body releases millions of antibodies in response to pathogens when they enter the body to prevent them from causing any disease, but too much of anything is not always too good, and this is what TSLP does to the body.
Thymic Stromal Lymphopoietin (TSLP) is a protein that is released primarily by the epithelial cells and also by the Dendritic cells, Mast cells, and Smooth Muscle cells in response to the stimulants like bacteria, viruses, allergens, pollutants, and weather conditions to drive the cycle of inflammatory pathway. TSLP is an epithelial cytokine that initiates the multiple downstream processes and is inferred to have roles in:
- Allergic inflammation, eosinophilic and neutrophilic inflammation.
- Activation and exaggeration of Type-2 immune response in the host’s body.
- Thickening of smooth muscles as in trachea, bronchioles, alveoli, and blood vessels resulting in various conditions like high blood pressure, shortness of breath, wheezing, bronchoconstriction, etc.
- Hyperactivity of mast cells causes more Histamine and Collagen release which may result in chronic inflammation, tachycardia, fibrosis, sinus infection, asthma attacks, etc.
Mechanism and Administration of the Drug
The AstraZeneca’s Tezepelumab is an anti-TSLP monoclonal antibody (mAb) that functions by blocking the targeted TSLP which operates on top of the inflammatory cascade to relieve from the symptoms of severe asthma including shortness or no breath (worse case), continuous wheezing, difficulty in talking, straining chest muscles, nasal blockage due to excessive mucus and many more.
What makes Asthma fatal is its tendency to trigger different pathways, which leads to several symptoms to focus on at a time.
Moreover, it is a heterological disease affected by various impulses, making it challenging to cure.
The first-class biologic, Tezepelumab has shown incredible results in trial 3 when provided with additional supervision that is given inhaled corticosteroids (a type of steroid to reduce inflammation in the airways and facilitate the entry of O2 into the lungs) and additional controller to patients suffering from severe asthma.
As claimed by the physicians of Amgen and AstraZeneca, it has reduced the exacerbation rate, requiring the patients to visit the “Emergency Room” by 79 per cent.
It has decreased hospital visits due to flare-up symptoms by 85 per cent.
The Tezepelumab is administered subcutaneously using a vial-and-syringe (V-S) with a strict dose of 210 mg, during the phase-3 trial.