DZL researchers publish results of clinical study on treatment with SB010 in COPD

Spirometry on study patient

Inhalation of the experimental drug SB010 reduces the number of sputum eosinophils in COPD patients. Moreover, the treatment doesn’t lead to severe side effects. The results of this study have been published recently in the journal Respiratory Research.

In an earlier study, completed in 2015 (Krug et al., 2015), the substance SB010 had been successfully applied in eosinophilic asthma (see DZL Annual Report 2015, p.6). Therefore, DZL scientists thought that a treatment in a subgroup of COPD patients with high numbers of eosinophils – these are specialized immune cells – might work, too. SB010 is a so-called DNAzyme that binds to and destroys the mRNA of a target protein. The exact mechanism of action is described in the DZL Annual Report 2015 (p.6).

COPD patients had to inhale the substance for 28 days. In comparison with patients who received a placebo SB010-treated patients showed a reduced number of eosinophils in their lungs. Several parameters of lung function remained unchanged. Also, quality of life questionnaires gave similar results in both groups.

The main outcome of this phase IIa study is the fact that SB010 can be safely applied: no severe side effects were observed. However, the clinical effect was less prominent than expected. All results have been published recently in the journal Respiratory Research. A further study on a larger patient collective might show, if the observed effects are therapeutically relevant.

This study has been carried out by scientist of DZL sites ARCN (LungenClinic Grosshansdorf and PRI), BREATH (Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine) and UGMLC (Philipp’s University Marburg) and the company Sterna Biologicals. Sterna is a spin-off from the Marburg University and holder of the patent for SB010. The DZL partners successfully applied for money from the DZL Clinical Trial Board which selects innovative clinical studies in a competitive process.  

Further information:

Greulich T, Hohlfeld JM, Neuser P, Lueer K, Klemmer A, Schade-Brittinger C, Harnisch S, Garn H, Renz H, Homburg U, Renz J, Kirsten A, Pedersen F, Müller M, Vogelmeier CF, Watz H (2018) A GATA3-specific DNAzyme attenuates sputum eosinophilia in eosinophilic COPD patients: a feasibility randomized clinical trial. Respir Res 19: 55 (ARCN, BREATH, UGMLC)

This article was published open access. The DZL supports open access publications, as they are freely available for everyone. There is no restriction by subscription of the respective journal. Thus, new scientific knowledge is proliferating faster and distributed without constraints.

Further references:

Krug N, Hohlfeld JM, Kirsten AM, Kornmann O, Beeh KM, Kappeler D, Korn S, Ignatenko S, Timmer W, Rogon C, Zeitvogel J, Zhang N, Bille J, Homburg U, Turowska A, Bachert C, Werfel T, Buhl R, Renz J, Garn H, Renz H (2015) Allergen-induced asthmatic responses modified by a GATA3-specific DNAzyme. N Engl J Med 372: 1987-1995 (ARCN, BREATH, UGMLC)

DZL Annual Report 2015


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