Dupilumab Shows Potential as First Biologic for COPD Treatment

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Data also show significant improvements in quality of life and respiratory symptoms in patients with evidence of type 2 inflammation who were treated with dupilumab.

Dupilumab (Dupixent) has potential to become the first biologic to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) following promising results where the drug demonstrated clinically meaningful and statistically significant reduction in exacerbations when compared with placebo.1

The debilitating respiratory disease is characterized by reduced lung function, shortness of breath, and frequent exacerbations. It’s the third leading cause of death worldwide, and new treatments for the condition have been lacking.

“COPD is an urgent global health concern and a notoriously difficult-to-treat disease due to its heterogeneity, with no novel treatments approved in more than a decade,” George Yancopoulus, MD, PhD, President, Chief Scientific Officer, Regeneron, stated. “In this landmark Phase 3 trial, patients with uncontrolled COPD achieved clinical outcomes with Dupixent at a magnitude never before seen with a biologic.”

According to the data shared by developing companies Regeneron and Sanofi, dupilumab demonstrated a clinically meaningful and statistically significant reduction of 30% in exacerbations compared with placebo, making it the first and only biologic to show such results.

Among the study population of patients with moderate to severe COPD, those who received the intervention experienced rapid and significant improvement in lung function, with a 160 mL increase in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) compared with a 77 mL increase in the placebo group.

Significant improvements in quality of life and respiratory symptoms in patients with evidence of type 2 inflammation (as indicated by blood eosinophils levels of at least 300 cells/μL) who were treated with dupilumab were also observed. COPD is the seventh disease in which dupilumab has exhibited positive pivotal results, confirming the key role of interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interleukin-13 (IL-13) in these type 2 inflammatory diseases.

“These results also validate the role type 2 inflammation plays in driving COPD in these patients, advancing the scientific community’s understanding of the underlying biology of this disease,” Yancopoulus stated. “We look forward to discussing these exciting results with regulatory authorities.”


  1. Dupixent® demonstrates potential to become first biologic to treat COPD by showing significant reduction in exacerbations in pivotal trial. News release. Regeneron. Published March 23, 2023. Accessed March 23, 2023.