Systemic Corticosteroids Avoidance Study in Severe Asthma Patients

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Status and phase

Phase 3




Drug: QAW039 150 mg once daily
Drug: Placebo once daily
Drug: QAW039 450 mg once daily

Study type


Funder types



2018-000212-25 (EudraCT Number)

Details and patient eligibility


The overall purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of fevipiprant (150 mg and 450 mg once daily), compared with placebo, as add-on to standard-of-care asthma therapy, in terms of avoidance of corticosteroid use over 52 weeks.

Full description

This was a randomized, multicenter, double-blind, double-dummy, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study to determine the ability of fevipiprant (QAW039) plus standard-of-care (SoC) compared with placebo plus SoC to reduce the use of systemic corticosteroids (SCS) in patients with severe asthma. The study included: a Screening period of up to 2 weeks to assess eligibility; a Run-in period of 4 or 10 weeks to evaluate maintenance of asthma control and to collect baseline safety data. The Run-in period was 4 weeks for patients coming with high-dose ICS/LABA (inhaled corticosteroids/long-acting beta-agonist) and 10 weeks for patients switching from mid-dose to high-dose ICS/LABA as per protocol during the run-in period; a Treatment period of 52 weeks. Upon completion of the Run-in period, all patients who met eligibility criteria were randomized to 1 of 3 treatment groups (fevipiprant 150 mg or 450 mg or placebo once daily) in a ratio 1:1:1. Randomized patients were stratified according to their peripheral blood eosinophil count (< 250 cells/μl or ≥ 250 cells/μl); a Follow-up period of 2 weeks following the last dose of study drug to collect additional data for safety variables. The main purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of fevipiprant (150 mg and 450 mg once daily), compared with placebo, as add-on to GINA (Global Initiative for Asthma) treatment step 4 or 5 SoC asthma therapy in terms of avoidance of SCS use over 52 weeks in patients with inadequately controlled severe asthma and high eosinophil counts (eosinophil count at Visit 1 ≥250 cells/ μl) and in the overall patient population regardless of eosinophil counts. On 16-Dec-2019 the sponsor decided to terminate study CQAW039A2323 earlier than the planned study completion. There were no safety findings with fevipiprant that contributed to this decision. The planned treatment period of 52 weeks was not completed by any patient; patients were treated for a median time of 14 weeks in each group and a maximum of up to 36 weeks.


604 patients




18 to 84 years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • Patients with a diagnosis of asthma for a period of at least 3 months prior to Screening Visit with current asthma severity step 4 or 5 (GINA 2018)
  • Currently on treatment with medium or high dose ICS/LABA +/- other controller (i.e.long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA), leukotriene receptor antagonist (LTRA) etc. as per GINA) for a minimum of 6 weeks prior to Screening Visit
  • At screening, patients with FEV1 of ≤80% of the predicted normal value for the patient, after withholding bronchodilators at Screening Visit and beginning of Run-In Visit
  • An increase of ≥12% and ≥200 ml in FEV1 approximately 10 to 15 minutes after administration of 400 mcg of salbutamol/albuterol prior to randomization (documented historical reversibility was accepted).
  • Demonstration of inadequate control of asthma based on an ACQ-5 score ≥1.5 at Screening Visit and Treatment Day 1 Visit
  • Documented history of at least 1 asthma exacerbation within 1 year prior to enrollment

Exclusion criteria

  • Asthma exacerbation, within 6 weeks prior to enrollment (screening) that required SCS, hospitalization, or emergency room visit
  • Chronic/maintenance use of oral corticosteroids (OCS) for asthma (total OCS use days greater than 6 months; continuously or intermittently) within the last year
  • Prior use of biologics that has potential to interfere/ affect asthma disease progression, in the previous 6 months from run-in period.
  • Any contraindications of SCS use e.g. diabetes, narrow angle glaucoma, or any other as defined by the treating physician
  • Pregnant or nursing (lactating) women
  • Use of other investigational drugs within 5 half-lives of enrollment, or [within 30 days], whichever is longer

Trial design

Primary purpose




Interventional model

Parallel Assignment


Double Blind

604 participants in 3 patient groups, including a placebo group

QAW039 150 mg
Experimental group
QAW039 150 mg once daily orally
Drug: QAW039 150 mg once daily
QAW039 450 mg
Experimental group
QAW039 450 mg once daily orally
Drug: QAW039 450 mg once daily
Placebo Comparator group
Placebo to QAW039 once daily orally
Drug: Placebo once daily

Trial documents

Trial contacts and locations



Data sourced from

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