A first look at the global severe asthma population

-ISAR proudly announces publication of its first dataset, summarizing demographic and clinical characteristics of 4,990 patients with severe asthma from the USA, UK, South Korea, Italy, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore

Dr. Eileen Wang (MD, MPH)
Prof David Price (MD FRCGP)

The International Severe Asthma Registry (ISAR; http://isaregistries.org/) has come of age with the publication of its first dataset in CHEST. “The study, which is the first to describe the demographic and clinical characteristics of severe asthma patients around the world, is a landmark publication”, explains Prof David Price (Director of both the Observational Pragmatic Research Institute, which analysed the data, and Optimum Patient Care, a co-founder of ISAR along with AstraZeneca) “answering the World Health Organization’s call for better surveillance to map the magnitude of chronic respiratory diseases and monitor future trends.” The results showed that patients with severe asthma predominantly developed asthma as adults, suffered from frequent flare ups (despite treatment with reliever/controller combinations, plus additional therapies and repeated oral corticosteroid courses in many cases), and had the type of disease likely to respond to new biologic therapies. “Biologic therapies also have a steroid sparing effect, which is a huge plus”, explains Prof Price, “providing the potential to get severe asthma under control without the potential for serious side effects caused by repeated and prolonged oral steroid therapy.” The whole initiative has been made possible via a collaboration with national/regional asthma registries, coming together to share not only anonymized and standardized, high-quality, patient-level data with ISAR, but also a common vision of how these data can be used to answer previously unanswerable questions. According to lead author Dr. Eileen Wang (National Jewish Health and University of Colorado School of Medicine, , CO, USA), “the combined data from 4,990 patients paint a global picture of severe asthma, as a disease associated with limited reversibility, high oral corticosteroid use, poor disease control and high morbidity and economic burdens”. The study also identified substantial inter-registry heterogeneity in patient age and asthma onset, treatment patterns, exacerbation rates and biomarker profiles. “These differences may be due to variations in culture and epidemiological patterns or country-specific system issues” explains Prof Price “but may also be explained by the differences in type of asthma”. “This is just the start of what ISAR can allow us to answer”, continues Dr. Wang. “As it continues to grow and diversify, ISAR will become a rich and unparalleled resource for answering questions relating to the heterogeneity of asthma presentation, response to treatment, and morbidity/mortality across the world”. ISAR has prioritized numerous research projects to answer these outstanding questions, living up to its commitment to improve the lives of severe asthma patients at the global level.

Optimum Patient Care Ltd (OPC), specializes in delivering medical research and services to improve diagnosis, treatment and care of chronic diseases within family care and specialist practices, and has provided clinical services and supported real-life research for over 14 years. It drives a vision for inclusion of real-life data into all aspects of medical research while informing the translation of research into daily clinical practice via new technologies and clinical services. Over the past decade, OPC has proven its expertise in both healthcare service provision, and the collection of data for ethically approved research purposes, globally. In the UK, OPC has established one of the largest family medicine databases, called the Optimum Patient Care Research Database (OPCRD) which holds nearly seven million anonymized electronic health records from patients in primary care. Globally OPC has coordinated the delivery of several large-scale international registries including the iHARP database (https://iharp.org/ (link is external)) and the International Severe Asthma Registry (ISAR) (http://isaregistries.org/ (link is external)). More information can be found out about Optimum Patient Care at https://optimumpatientcare.org/

The Observational & Pragmatic Research Institute (OPRI; https://opri.sg/) founded by Prof David Price, is an independent research organisation with over 12 years of leadership and global experience in successful delivery of retrospective database studies, prospective pragmatic clinical trials and international patient registries. With a special focus on uncontrolled and severe asthma, OPRI has conducted several systematic, investigative and experimental (SIE) studies to aid the discovery and development of novel and innovative inhaler devices, precision medicine therapies and risk prediction tools such as biomarkers. This research has contributed to a growing body of real-world evidence illustrating the unmet needs, effectiveness, safety and value of biopharmaceutical and biotechnology in real world patient populations. OPRI (with its partner OPC) offers exclusive data sharing agreements to one of the largest primary care databases in the world, the Optimum Patient Care Research Database (OPCRD), which allows access to a network of over 700 GP practices and 8.8 million patients in the UK for bespoke data collection. OPRI also has a new and growing network of GP practices in Australia to translate research from study idea to clinical change.

AstraZeneca (LSE/STO/NYSE: AZN) is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three therapy areas – Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolism, and Respiratory. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. Please visit astrazeneca.com and follow the Company on Twitter @AstraZeneca.

National Jewish Health (NJH) is the leading respiratory hospital in the United States. Founded 120 years ago as a non-profit hospital, NJH today is the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to ground-breaking medical research and treatment of patients with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related disorders. Patients and families come to NJH from around the world to receive cutting-edge, comprehensive, coordinated care. To learn more, visit the media resources page.

Press release to highlight the publication of ‘Wang et al, Characterization of severe asthma worldwide: data from the International Severe Asthma Registry (ISAR). CHEST 2019 Nov 27. pii: S0012-3692(19)34295-3. doi: 10.1016/j.chest.2019.10.053’