3 and half years ago I wrote about the exciting news that the game changing experimental drug called Dupilumab, who Dr Wenzel and others believed was going to revolutionize the way certain forms of severe asthma are treated, I finally get to try it myself! This past week I received word from the folks at Sanofi that my request to receive the drug on a compassionate use basis, was approved.
Myself and one other person will become the first two asthmatics in the world to receive this investigational drug outside of a clinical trial before it receives approval from the FDA sometime later next year. We’re just waiting now for the FDA to give the green light for the compassionate use waiver. Not sure yet of the dose or if the injections will be weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, but the drug will be sent directly to UCSF and administered by one of the infusion Nurses.
Dupilumab is a monoclonal anti IL 4-13 drug being developed to treat both atopic dermatitis and severe asthma. Though it’s being tested primarily on asthmatics with high eosinophil counts, it’s also shown promise in those with low eosinophil counts. I fall into the latter category.
No one really knows if the this drug will help me, but it’s a worth a shot (literally), and with few options left, regardless of any potential efficacy, Im thankful for the opportunity to try it out. Not expecting a miracle or anything even close, but if it helps spare me just one hospitalization per year, that’s one less traumatic episode my body has to go through and one less stressful ordeal my friends and family have to deal with.
And talk about good timing, I received the news about receiving this drug on the very same day my case was scheduled to go to the lung transplant selection committee meeting at UCSF. Anything I can do to postpone or possibly eliminate the need for transplant all together is great news indeed.
Many thanks to Gianluca Pirozzi and the scientists at Sanofi for making this happen. I may actually owe my life to them. I’ll be sure to post updates about my experience with the drug.
For those of you in a similar situation, here’s a great website which has a tool to help you navigate the world of compassionate use medications and the steps needed to acquire them.