Boehringer Ingelheim
  • Ingelheim am Rhein, Germany
Recent publications
Antibody-mediated cancer immunotherapy targets inhibitory surface molecules, such as PD1, PD-L1, and CTLA-4, aiming to re-invigorate dysfunctional T cells. We purified and characterized tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) and their patient-matched non-tumor counterparts from treatment-naïve NSCLC patient biopsies to evaluate the effect of PD1 expression on the functional and molecular profiles of tumor-resident T cells. We show that PD1+ CD8+ TILs have elevated expression of the transcriptional regulator ID3 and that the cytotoxic potential of CD8 T cells can be improved by knocking down ID3, defining it as a potential regulator of T cell effector function. PD1+ CD4+ memory TILs display transcriptional patterns consistent with both helper and regulator function, but can robustly facilitate B cell activation and expansion. Furthermore, we show that expanding ex vivo-prepared TILs in vitro broadly preserves their functionality with respect to tumor cell killing, B cell help, and TCR repertoire. Although purified PD1+ CD8+ TILs generally maintain an exhausted phenotype upon expansion in vitro, transcriptional analysis reveals a downregulation of markers of T-cell dysfunction, including the co-inhibitory molecules PD1 and CTLA-4 and transcription factors ID3, TOX and TOX2, while genes involved in cell cycle and DNA repair are upregulated. We find reduced expression of WNT signaling components to be a hallmark of PD1+ CD8+ exhausted T cells in vivo and in vitro and demonstrate that restoring WNT signaling, by pharmacological blockade of GSK3β, can improve effector function. These data unveil novel targets for tumor immunotherapy and have promising implications for the development of a personalized TIL-based cell therapy for lung cancer.
Transgenic human monoclonal antibodies derived from humanized mice against different epitopes of the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and chimeric llama-human bispecific heavy chain-only antibodies targeting the Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV), were produced using a CHO-based transient expression system. Two lead candidates were assessed for each model virus before selecting and progressing one lead molecule. MERS-7.7G6 was used as the model antibody to demonstrate batch-to-batch process consistency and, together with RVFV-107-104, were scaled up to 200 L. Consistent expression titers were obtained in different batches at a 5 L scale for MERS-7.7G6. Although lower expression levels were observed for MERS-7.7G6 and RVFV-107-104 during scale up to 200 L, product quality attributes were consistent at different scales and in different batches. In addition to this, peptide mapping data suggested no detectable sequence variants for any of these candidates. Functional assays demonstrated comparable neutralizing activity for MERS-7.7G6 and RVFV-107-104 generated at different production scales. Similarly, MERS-7.7G6 batches generated at different scales were shown to provide comparable protection in mouse models. Our study demonstrates that a CHO-based transient expression process is capable of generating consistent product quality at different production scales and thereby supports the potential of using transient gene expression to accelerate the manufacturing of early clinical material.
Biotherapeutic optimization, whether to improve general properties or to engineer specific attributes, is a time-consuming process with uncertain outcomes. Conversely, Consensus Protein Design has been shown to be a viable approach to enhance protein stability while retaining function. In adapting this method for a more limited number of protein sequences, we studied 21 consensus single-point variants from eight publicly available CD3 binding sequences with high similarity but diverse biophysical and pharmacological properties. All single-point consensus variants retained CD3 binding and performed similarly in cell-based functional assays. Using Ridge regression analysis, we identified the variants and sequence positions with overall beneficial effects on developability attributes of the CD3 binders. A second round of sequence generation that combined these substitutions into a single molecule yielded a unique CD3 binder with globally optimized developability attributes. In this first application to therapeutic antibodies, adapted Consensus Protein Design was found to be highly beneficial within lead optimization, conserving resources and minimizing iterations. Future implementations of this general strategy may help accelerate drug discovery and improve success rates in bringing novel biotherapeutics to market.
Upregulation of inhibitory receptors, such as lymphocyte activation gene-3 (LAG-3), may limit the antitumor activity of therapeutic antibodies targeting the programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1) pathway. We describe the binding properties of ezabenlimab, an anti-human PD-1 antibody, and BI 754111, an anti-human LAG-3 antibody, and assess their activity alone and in combination. Ezabenlimab bound with high affinity to human PD-1 (KD = 6 nM) and blocked the interaction of PD-1 with PD-L1 and PD-L2. Ezabenlimab dose-dependently increased interferon-γ secretion in human T cells expressing PD-1 in co-culture with PD-L1-expressing dendritic cells. Administration of ezabenlimab to human PD-1 knock-in mice dose-dependently inhibited growth of MC38 tumors. To reduce immunogenicity, ezabenlimab was reformatted from a human IgG4 to a chimeric variant with a mouse IgG1 backbone (BI 905725) for further in vivo studies. Combining BI 905725 with anti-mouse LAG-3 antibodies improved antitumor activity versus BI 905725 monotherapy in the MC38 tumor model. We generated BI 754111, which bound with high affinity to human LAG-3 and prevented LAG-3 interaction with its ligand, major histocompatibility complex class II. In an in vitro model of antigen-experienced memory T cells expressing PD-1 and LAG-3, interferon-γ secretion increased by an average 1.8-fold versus isotype control (p = 0.027) with BI 754111 monotherapy, 6.9-fold (p < 0.0001) with ezabenlimab monotherapy and 13.2-fold (p < 0.0001) with BI 754111 plus ezabenlimab. Overall, ezabenlimab and BI 754111 bound to their respective targets with high affinity and prevented ligand binding. Combining ezabenlimab with BI 754111 enhanced in vitro activity versus monotherapy, supporting clinical investigation of this combination (NCT03156114; NCT03433898).
Background Performance benchmarks for the management of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) have not been established. We used data from the IPF-PRO Registry, an observational registry of patients with IPF managed at sites across the US, to examine associations between the characteristics of the enrolling sites and patient outcomes. Methods An online survey was used to collect information on the resources, operations, and self-assessment practices of IPF-PRO Registry sites that enrolled ≥ 10 patients. Site variability in 1-year event rates of clinically relevant outcomes, including death, death or lung transplant, and hospitalization, was assessed. Models were adjusted for differences in patient case mix by adjusting for known predictors of each outcome. We assessed whether site-level heterogeneity existed for each patient-level outcome, and if so, we investigated potential drivers of the heterogeneity. Results All 27 sites that enrolled ≥ 10 patients returned the questionnaire. Most sites were actively following > 100 patients with IPF (70.4%), had a lung transplant program (66.7%), and had a dedicated ILD nurse leader (77.8%). Substantial heterogeneity was observed in the event rates of clinically relevant outcomes across the sites. After controlling for patient case mix, there were no outcomes for which the site variance component was significantly different from 0, but the p-value for hospitalization was 0.052. Starting/completing an ILD-related quality improvement project in the previous 2 years was associated with a lower risk of hospitalization (HR 0.60 [95% CI 0.44, 0.82]; p = 0.001). Conclusions Analyses of data from patients with IPF managed at sites across the US found no site-specific characteristics or practices that were significantly associated with clinically relevant outcomes after adjusting for patient case mix. Trial registration, NCT01915511. Registered 5 August 2013,
Background The association of cough with Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (MHP) DNA detection in specimens was evaluated under conditions in which the MHP status of inoculated and contact-infected pen mates was closely monitored for 59 days post-inoculation (DPI). Methods Seven-week-old pigs (n = 39) were allocated to five rooms (with one pen). Rooms contained 9 pigs each, with 1, 3, 6, or 9 MHP -inoculated pigs, respectively, except Room 5 (three sham-inoculated pigs). Cough data (2 × week) and specimens, tracheal swabs (2 × week), oral fluids (daily), drinker wipes (~ 1 × week), and air samples (3 × week) were collected. At 59 DPI, pigs were euthanized, and lung and trachea were evaluated for gross and microscopic lesions. Predictive cough value to MHP DNA detection in drinker and oral fluid samples were estimated using mixed logistic regression. Results Following inoculation, MHP DNA was first detected in tracheal swabs from inoculated pigs (DPI 3), then oral fluids (DPI 8), air samples (DPI 10), and drinker wipes (21 DPI). MHP DNA was detected in oral fluids in 17 of 59 (Room 1) to 43 of 59 (Room 3) samples, drinker wipes in 4 of 8 (Rooms 2 and 3) to 5 of 8 (Rooms 1 and 4) samples, and air samples in 5 of 26 (Room 2) or 3 of 26 (Room 4) samples. Logistic regression showed that the frequency of coughing pigs in a pen was associated with the probability of MHP DNA detection in oral fluids ( P < 0.01 ) and nearly associated with drinker wipes ( P = 0.08 ). Pathology data revealed an association between the period when infection was first detected and the severity of gross lung lesions. Conclusions Dry, non-productive coughs suggest the presence of MHP , but laboratory testing and MHP DNA detection is required for confirmation. Based on the data from this study, oral fluids and drinker wipes may provide a convenient alternative for MHP DNA detection at the pen level when cough is present. This information may help practitioners in specimen selection for MHP surveillance.
Background Dam-to-piglet transmission plays an important role in the epidemiology of enzootic pneumonia on farms. Although Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae ( M. hyopneumoniae ) infections in breeding animals are often subclinical, their control could have a positive effect on M. hyopneumoniae infection levels in fattening pigs. This study investigated the presence of M. hyopneumoniae in the breeding population of ten Belgian farrow-to-finish farms suspected by the herd veterinarian to be M. hyopneumoniae infected. Gilt vaccination against M. hyopneumoniae prior to first insemination was practiced on nine of the ten farms. At four different time points in the reproductive cycle 20 animals were sampled on each farm, namely 30–40 days of gestation, 75–85 days of gestation, 3–5 days after farrowing, and 1–3 days after weaning. In total, tracheobronchial swabs and blood samples were collected from 344 gilts and 456 sows (n = 80/farm). Swabs were analysed for the presence of M. hyopneumoniae DNA using nested PCR and M. hyopneumoniae -specific antibodies were detected in serum with a commercial ELISA. Generalized linear mixed models with farm as random factor were used to test the effect of time point in the reproductive cycle and parity on M. hyopneumoniae PCR prevalence and seroprevalence. Results M. hyopneumoniae PCR prevalence ranged between 0% and 43.8% at the farm level and the seroprevalence between 32.5% and 93.8%. Gilts were significantly more M. hyopneumoniae PCR positive than sows at the 2-4th parity (P = 0.02) and > 4th parity (P = 0.02). At 30–40 days of gestation, significantly more breeding animals were PCR positive as compared to 75–85 days of gestation (P = 0.04), 3–5 days after farrowing (P = 0.02) and 1–3 days after weaning (P = 0.02). Gilts had significantly more often M. hyopneumoniae -specific antibodies than sows (P = 0.03). Conclusions M. hyopneumoniae PCR prevalence varied a lot between farms and due to gilt vaccination the number of animals with M. hyopneumoniae -specific antibodies was high on most farms. Gilts were more often M. hyopneumoniae PCR positive than sows and positive animals were mostly found at 30–40 days of gestation. This emphasizes the importance of a sufficiently long quarantine period and proper gilt acclimation practices before introducing gilts to the sow herd.
Inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) therapy is widely prescribed without a history of exacerbations and consensus guidelines suggest withdrawal of ICS in these patients would reduce the risk of side effects and promote cost-effective prescribing. The study describes the prescribing behaviour in the United Kingdom (UK) in relation to ICS withdrawal and identifies clinical outcomes following withdrawal using primary and secondary care electronic health records between January 2012 and December 2017. Patients with a history ≥12 months’ exposure who withdrew ICS for ≥6 months were identified into two cohorts; those prescribed a long-acting bronchodilator maintenance therapy and those that were not prescribed any maintenance therapy. The duration of withdrawal, predictors of restarting ICS, and clinical outcomes were compared between both patient cohorts. Among 76,808 patients that had ≥1 prescription of ICS in the study period, 11,093 patients (14%) withdrew ICS therapy at least once during the study period. The median time without ICS was 9 months (IQR 7–14), with the majority (71%) receiving subsequent ICS prescriptions after withdrawal. Patients receiving maintenance therapy with a COPD review at withdrawal were 28% less likely to restart ICS (HR: 0.72, 95% CI 0.61, 0.85). Overall, 69% and 89% of patients that withdrew ICS had no recorded exacerbation event or COPD hospitalisation, respectively, during the withdrawal. This study provides evidence that most patients withdrawing from ICS do not experience COPD exacerbations and withdrawal success can be achieved by carefully planning routine COPD reviews whilst optimising the use of available maintenance therapies.
The activity of nuclear receptors (e.g., pregnane x receptor, PXR) can be assessed by luminescence-based dual reporter gene assays. Under most conditions, receptor-activated firefly luminescence is normalized to Renilla luminescence, which is triggered by a constitutively active promoter. Simultaneous damage to the cells can however disrupt these signals and thus impair the interpretation of the data. Consequently, this study addressed three important aspects: First, idealized models were described, each highlighting crucial characteristics and important pitfalls of dual PXR reporter gene assays used to evaluate PXR activation or inhibition. Second, these models were supported by experimental data obtained with a strong PXR activator (rifampicin) with low cytotoxicity, a PXR activator with high cytotoxicity (dovitinib), a proposed PXR inhibitor that reportedly has no toxic effects (triptolide), and a cytotoxic control (oxaliplatin). Data were evaluated for relative PXR activity data, individual firefly or Renilla luminescence, and anti-proliferative effects of the compounds (assessed by crystal violet staining). Finally, a step-by-step guide is proposed to avoid misleading set-up of the assay or misinterpretation of the data obtained. Key considerations here include (1) omission of drug concentrations beyond 10–20% proliferation inhibition; (2) observation of Renilla luminescence, because this tends to indicate ‘false PXR activation’ when it inexplicably decreases; (3) parallel decrease of relative PXR activity and proliferation below baseline levels in conjunction with a sharp decrease in Renilla luminescence indicates ‘false PXR antagonism’; (4) non-sigmoidal relationships suggest the absence of concentration dependency.
Patients with schizophrenia experience cognitive impairment related to neural network dysfunction and deficits in sensory processing. These deficits are thought to be caused by N -methyl-D-aspartate receptor hypofunction and can be assessed in patient populations using electroencephalography (EEG). This substudy from a Phase II, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study investigating the safety and efficacy of the novel glycine transporter-1 inhibitor, iclepertin (BI 425809), assessed the potential of EEG parameters as clinically relevant biomarkers of schizophrenia and response to iclepertin treatment. Eligible patients were randomized to once-daily add-on iclepertin (2, 5, 10, or 25 mg), or placebo (1:1:1:1:2 ratio) for 12 weeks. EEG data were recorded from a subgroup of patients ( n = 79) at baseline and end of treatment (EoT). EEG parameters of interest were mismatch negativity (MMN), auditory steady-state response (ASSR), and resting state gamma power, and their correlations with clinical assessments. At baseline, MMN and ASSR exhibited consistent correlations with clinical assessments, indicating their potential value as neurophysiological biomarkers of schizophrenia-related deficits. ASSR measures were positively correlated to the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery overall and neurocognitive composite scores; MMN amplitude was positively correlated with Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scores. However, correlations between change from baseline (CfB) at EoT in clinical assessments, and baseline or CfB at EoT for EEG parameters were modest and inconsistent between dose groups, which might indicate low potential of these EEG parameters as predictive and treatment response biomarkers. Further methodological refinement is needed to establish EEG parameters as useful drug development tools for schizophrenia.
Digital toxicologic histopathology has been broadly adopted in preclinical compound development for informal consultation and peer review. There is now increased interest in implementing the technology for good laboratory practice–regulated study evaluations. However, the implementation is not straightforward because systems and work processes require qualification and validation, with consideration also given to security. As a result of the high-throughput, high-volume nature of safety evaluations, computer performance, ergonomics, efficiency, and integration with laboratory information management systems are further key considerations. The European Society of Toxicologic Pathology organized an international expert workshop with participation by toxicologic pathologists, quality assurance/regulatory experts, and information technology experts to discuss qualification and validation of digital histopathology systems in a good laboratory practice environment, and to share the resulting conclusions broadly in the toxicologic pathology community.
Importance: Other than single-center case studies, little is known about generalized pustular psoriasis (GPP) flares. Objective: To assess GPP flares and their treatment, as well as differences between patients with and patients without flares documented in US electronic health records (EHRs). Design, setting, and participants: This retrospective cohort study included adult patients with GPP (International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision code L40.1) identified in Optum deidentified EHR data between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2020. The index GPP diagnosis was the first occurrence in the EHR, with no coded history of GPP for at least 6 months prior. Flare episodes were identified using an algorithm based on diagnosis coding, care setting, type of clinician, GPP disease terms, and flare terms and attributes in the EHR. Main outcomes and measures: Flare episodes were characterized by the frequency of occurrence per patient, the care setting in which they were identified, the type of specialist managing the episode, associated symptoms, and the type of treatment before, during, and after the episode. Patients were divided into groups based on whether or not they had a flare episode documented in their EHR. Comparisons were made between the groups based on demographic characteristics, comorbidity burden, health care use, and treatments. Results: Of 1535 patients with GPP (1018 women [66.3%]; mean [SD] age, 53.4 [14.7] years), 271 had 513 flares documented. Compared with patients without flares, patients with flares had a 34% higher mean (SD) Charlson Comorbidity Index score (2.80 [3.11] vs 2.09 [2.52]), were almost 3 times more likely to have inpatient visits (119 of 271 [44%] vs 194 of 1264 [15%]), were more than twice as likely to have emergency department (ED) visits (126 of 271 [47%] vs 299 of 1264 [24%]), and had higher use of almost all treatment classes. Flares were identified in outpatient (271 of 513 [53%]), inpatient (186 of 513 [36%]), and ED (48 of 513 [9%]) settings. The most common treatments during flares were topical corticosteroids (35% of episodes [178 of 513]), opioids (21% [106 of 513]), other oral treatments, (eg, methotrexate, cyclosporine, tacrolimus; 13% [67 of 513]), and oral corticosteroids (11% [54 of 513]). Almost one-fourth of flare episodes (24% [122 of 513]) had no dermatologic treatment 30 days before, during, or 30 days after a flare episode. Conclusions and relevance: This cohort study suggests that there is significant unmet need for the treatment of GPP and its flares, as evidenced by patients seeking treatment in inpatient and ED settings, as well as the lack of advanced treatments.
Background: BI 695501 is an FDA-approved biosimilar to adalimumab reference product (RP). VOLTAIRE-X was a randomized clinical trial to assess outcomes with a biosimilar monoclonal antibody in line with the FDA requirements for designation as an 'interchangeable' biosimilar. Objective: The aim of this study was to assess whether multiple switches between adalimumab RP and BI 695501 lead to equivalent pharmacokinetics and a similar safety and immunogenicity profile compared with continuous adalimumab RP. Methods: We conducted a phase III, double-blind, randomized controlled trial between July 19, 2017, and April 16, 2019. There were 49 investigational sites across Europe and North America. Of 323 screened patients with moderate-to-severe chronic plaque psoriasis, 259 were treated with adalimumab RP during the run-in period. Of these, 118 and 120 were randomized to the continuous or switching arms, respectively. Interventions consisted of a run-in period with adalimumab RP 80 mg subcutaneously (SC) on Day 1, then 40 mg SC every other week (EOW) Weeks 2-12. Patients were then randomized to receive adalimumab RP 40 mg EOW Weeks 14-48 (continuous arm) or BI 695501 40 mg Weeks 14 and 16, adalimumab RP 40 mg Weeks 18 and 20, and BI 695501 40 mg EOW Weeks 22 to 48 (switching arm); all interventions were given SC. Primary endpoints were pharmacokinetics parameters, area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUCτ,30-32) and maximum observed drug plasma concentration (Cmax,30-32), measured after the third switch during the Week 30-32 dosing interval. Results: 238 patients (mean [standard deviation] age 44.9 [13.8]; 66.0% male) were treated in the switching (n = 118) or continuous arms (n = 120). Adjusted mean Cmax,30-32 was 7.08 and 7.00 μg/mL in the switching and continuous treatment arms, respectively; adjusted mean AUCτ,30-32 was 2025.8 and 1925.9 μg h/mL. Point estimate for mean ratio for AUCτ,30-32 was 105.2% (90.2% confidence interval [CI] 96.6-114.6), and 101.1% (90.2% CI 93.3-109.7) for Cmax,30-32. Both CIs were within a predefined bioequivalence range of 80.0-125.0%. Treatment-emergent adverse events led to discontinuation in 0.8% and 1.7% of patients in the switching and continuous treatment arms, and Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) scores were highly similar in the two arms across the entire trial period. Conclusions: Pharmacokinetic equivalence was demonstrated, with highly similar efficacy and immunogenicity, and comparable safety observed in patients with chronic plaque psoriasis who received either adalimumab RP continuously or who switched between adalimumab RP and BI 695501. Trial registration: NCT03210259 (registered July 2017); 2016-002254-20.
Introduction: The objective of this work was to assess the efficacy and safety of risankizumab in psoriatic arthritis (PsA) over 76 weeks. Methods: In this double-blind, dose-ranging phase 2 study, adults with active PsA were randomized 2:2:2:1:2 to risankizumab 150 mg at weeks 0, 4, 8, 12, and 16 (arm 1), 150 mg at weeks 0, 4, and 16 (arm 2), 150 mg at weeks 0 and 12 (arm 3), 75 mg at week 0 (arm 4), or placebo (arm 5). Patients completing week 24 could receive risankizumab 150 mg in a 52-week open-label extension study. Efficacy assessments included American College of Rheumatology (ACR) responses, Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI) responses, minimal disease activity (MDA), and 28-joint Disease Activity Score based on C-reactive protein (DAS28[CRP]). Results: Of 185 randomized patients, 173 (93.5%) completed week 16 and 145 (78.4%) entered the open-label extension. Significantly more patients in each risankizumab arm achieved ACR20 at week 16 versus placebo (primary endpoint: pooled arms 1 + 2 [59.5%] versus placebo [35.7%]; treatment difference [90% CI] 24.0 [9.3, 38.7]; P = 0.007). Similarly, significantly more patients in most risankizumab arms achieved ACR20/50/70, PASI75/90/100, MDA, and greater improvements in DAS28(CRP) versus placebo at week 16. These benefits of risankizumab were maintained long term. Treatment-emergent adverse events were comparable across treatment arms. Risankizumab 150 mg was well tolerated over 76 weeks. Conclusions: Risankizumab improved joint and skin symptoms versus placebo in patients with active PsA over 16 weeks; improvements were sustained long term. Risankizumab was well tolerated over the long term with no new safety findings. Trial registration numbers: NCT02719171 and NCT02986373.
pivZPhos, as an effective ligand in the Cu-catalyzed asymmetric hydrogenation of ketones and aminoboration of alkenes, is prepared efficiently from the corresponding triflate of P-chiral dihydrobenzoazaphosphole 1. However, the previous approach to 1 by chiral separation is time-consuming and costly, preventing its production and further application on a large scale. In this report, a practical method for the large-scale preparation of 1 was developed via chiral chemical resolution with (1S,2S)-diaminocyclohexane as an effective resolution reagent.
Objectives: Progressive fibrosing interstitial lung disease (PF-ILD) is characterised by increased pulmonary fibrosis, lung function decline, acute exacerbations, decreased quality of life and increased mortality. Nintedanib may slow down disease progression, but long-term outcomes are unknown. We aimed to assess the cost-effectiveness of nintedanib in comparison to placebo, both on top of usual care in patients with PF-ILD. Methods: An individual PF-ILD patient simulation model was created, using data and extrapolations from the nintedanib and placebo arms of the INBUILD trial. Clinical outcomes (mortality, exacerbations, lung transplants), economic outcomes (direct and indirect costs) and the cost-effectiveness of nintedanib over a 10-year time horizon were forecasted using the Netherlands as a case example. Disease progression was driven by lung function decline, with forced vital capacity (FVC) health states ranging from < 40 to ≥ 110 FVC of % predicted. Sensitivity and scenario analyses were performed to assess the impact of parameter assumptions on the cost-effectiveness and to test model robustness. Results: Over a 10-year follow-up, nintedanib gained an average of 1.31 discounted life years and an average of 0.87 discounted quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), resulting in an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of €60,690 per QALY. Sensitivity analyses showed cost variations had a minor impact on the ICER. Results were mainly driven by mortality probabilities and disease-related utilities. Scenario analyses indicated most sensitivity to the time horizon and lung transplantation costs. Conclusion: Long-term treatment with nintedanib could result in considerable health gains for patients with PF-ILD and can be considered cost-effective under the common willingness-to-pay threshold.
In meta-analysis practice, researchers frequently face studies that report the same outcome differently, such as a continuous variable (e.g., scores for rating depression) or a binary variable (e.g., counts of patients with depression dichotomized by certain latent and unreported depression scores). For combining these two types of studies in the same analysis, a simple conversion method has been widely used to handle standardized mean differences (SMDs) and odds ratios (ORs). This conventional method uses a linear function connecting the SMD and log OR; it assumes logistic distributions for (latent) continuous measures. However, the normality assumption is more commonly used for continuous measures, and the conventional method may be inaccurate when effect sizes are large or cutoff values for dichotomizing binary events are extreme (leading to rare events). This article proposes a Bayesian hierarchical model to synthesize SMDs and ORs without using the conventional conversion method. This model assumes exact likelihoods for continuous and binary outcome measures, which account for full uncertainties in the synthesized results. We performed simulation studies to compare the performance of the conventional and Bayesian methods in various settings. The Bayesian method generally produced less biased results with smaller mean squared errors and higher coverage probabilities than the conventional method in most cases. Nevertheless, this superior performance depended on the normality assumption for continuous measures; the Bayesian method could lead to nonignorable biases for non-normal data. In addition, we used two case studies to illustrate the proposed Bayesian method in real-world settings.
Background Pneumonia is an infectious disease commonly associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, few studies have directly compared the incidence of pneumonia in patients on common COPD treatments such as long-acting muscarinic antagonists (LAMA) with those on inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting β 2 -agonist (ICS/LABA). Moreover, risk factors for pneumonia in COPD are still unclear. We compared the incidence of pneumonia in COPD patients on LAMA and those on ICS/LABA and explored the risk factors associated with pneumonia. Methods This nationwide cohort study used Korean National Health Insurance claim data from January 2002 to April 2016. Patients who received COPD medication, either LAMA or ICS/LABA, with the COPD diagnostic code, were selected. We enrolled patients with good compliance (medication possession ratio ≥ 80%). The primary outcome was pneumonia in COPD patients initiating LAMA or ICS/LABA. We investigated the risk factors associated with pneumonia, including the sub-types of ICS treatments. The observation period was a minimum of 12 months and a maximum of 136 months. Results After propensity score matching, the incidence rate per 1,000 person-years of pneumonia was 93.96 for LAMA (n = 1,003) and 136.42 for ICS/LABA (n = 1,003) patients (p < 0.001). The adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for pneumonia in patients on fluticasone/LABA was 1.496 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.204–1.859) compared with LAMA (p < 0.001). In multivariable analysis, a history of pneumonia was a risk factor associated with pneumonia (HR, 2.123; 95% CI, 1.580–2.852; p < 0.001). Conclusions The incidence of pneumonia was higher in COPD patients on ICS/LABA compared with those on LAMA. It is recommended that ICS use be avoided in COPD patients with high pneumonia risk.
Human papilloma virus (HPV) infection is a causative agent for several cancers types (genital, anal and head and neck region). The HPV E6 and E7 proteins are oncogenic drivers and thus are ideal candidates for therapeutic vaccination. We recently reported that a novel ribonucleic acid lipoplex (RNA-LPX)-based HPV16 vaccine, E7 RNA-LPX, mediates regression of mouse HPV16 ⁺ tumors and establishes protective T cell memory. An HPV16 E6/E7 RNA-LPX vaccine is currently being investigated in two phase I and II clinical trials in various HPV-driven cancer types; however, it remains a high unmet medical need for treatments for patients with radiosensitive HPV16 ⁺ tumors. Therefore, we set out to investigate the therapeutic efficacy of E7 RNA-LPX vaccine combined with standard-of-care local radiotherapy (LRT). We demonstrate that E7 RNA-LPX synergizes with LRT in HPV16 ⁺ mouse tumors, with potent therapeutic effects exceeding those of either monotherapy. Mode of action studies revealed that the E7 RNA-LPX vaccine induced high numbers of intratumoral-E7-specific CD8 ⁺ T cells, rendering cold tumors immunologically hot, whereas LRT primarily acted as a cytotoxic therapy, reducing tumor mass and intratumor hypoxia by predisposing tumor cells to antigen-specific T cell-mediated killing. Overall, LRT enhanced the effector function of E7 RNA-LPX-primed T cell responses. The therapeutic synergy was dependent on total radiation dose, rather than radiation dose-fractionation. Together, these results show that LRT synergizes with E7 RNA-LPX and enhances its anti-tumor activity against HPV16 ⁺ cancer models. This work paves into a new translational therapy for HPV16 ⁺ cancer patients.
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Ingelheim am Rhein, Germany