C-kit and PDGF receptor inhibition may decrease bronchial inflammation and interfere with airway remodeling, which are crucial features of severe asthma.
Mast cells. Image source: Wikipedia.
A 16-week study included 44 patients with severe corticosteroid-dependent asthma who remained poorly controlled despite standard therapy.
A comparable reduction in oral corticosteroids was achieved with masitinib and placebo (-78% and -57% in the masitinib and placebo arms, respectively) but the Asthma Control Questionnaire score was better in the masitinib arm.
The authors concluded that masitinib, a c-kit and PDGF-receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor, may represent an innovative avenue of treatment in corticosteroid-dependent asthma. More studies in severe asthma are needed.
Masitinib, a c-kit/PDGF receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor, improves disease control in severe corticosteroid-dependent asthmatics. Humbert M, de Blay F, Garcia G, Prud'homme A, Leroyer C, Magnan A, Tunon-de-Lara JM, Pison C, Aubier M, Charpin D, Vachier I, Purohit A, Gineste P, Bader T, Moussy A, Hermine O, Chanez P. Allergy. 2009 Aug;64(8):1194-201.