The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center has been selected as the first enrollment site for a phase III study on the use of benralizumab for the treatment of hypereosinophilic syndrome (HES).
HES is a group of symptoms associated with persistent elevated eosinophil (white blood cell) counts, which can cause damage to organ systems. Earlier studies have shown benralizumab to be successful at targeting eosinophils.
Princess Ogbogu, MD, associate professor and director of allergy for the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, has been named international coordinator for the phase III study, which is supported by AstraZeneca. She will also serve as principal investigator for the portion of the study conducted at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center.
The global HES study builds on a phase II study supported by AstraZeneca and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health.
“With this study, we hope to better identify whether benralizumab, a drug that targets eosinophilic inflammation, can be used to treat this disorder,” Dr. Ogbogu says. “Typically, this disorder is treated with steroids, which have adverse consequences with long-term use. The study will help determine whether this drug could be used successfully in HES patients who are steroid-responsive, and possibly minimize or eliminate the use of steroids.”
Enrollment for the study began in January 2020, and investigators enrolled 120 people across multiple U.S. and international sites. Dr. Ogbogu’s role as international coordinator is a consulting position with AstraZeneca.
Dr. Ogbogu, an assistant professor - clinical at the College of Medicine, joined Ohio State Wexner Medical Center in 2008 following three years at the NIAID. In 2013, she was named director of allergy and immunology.