A new biologic for severe asthma, a drug for anemia related to chronic kidney disease (CKD) and a long acting pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV-1 are among the first-in-class therapies featured in OptumRx’s Q1 2022 Drug Pipeline Insights Report. In addition to these new drugs, the PBM also calls attention to the likelihood of more COVID-19 vaccines and treatments receiving full approval and additional uses in 2022.
Tezepelumab (brand name Tezspire) was approved by the FDA for maintenance treatment of severe asthma in December 2021. Many biologics for severe asthma are already on the market, but these drugs target asthma subtypes determined by baseline blood eosinophil counts, according to the OptumRx report. On the other hand, tezepelumab, developed by AstraZeneca and AmGen Inc., has been developed with a broader indication.