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n. A human recombinant protein.


Pitrakinra (trade name Aerovant) is a 15-kDa human recombinant protein of wild-type human interleukin-4 (IL-4). It is an IL-4 and IL-13 antagonist that has been studied in phase III clinical trials for the treatment of asthma. Two point mutations on pitrakinra (position 121 mutated from arginine to aspartic acid and position 124 mutated from tyrosine to aspartic acid) confer its ability to block signaling of IL-4 and interleukin-13 (IL-13) by preventing assembly of IL-4 receptor alpha (IL-4Rα) with either IL-2Rγ or IL-13Rα. Upregulation of Th2 cytokines, including IL-4 and IL-13, is thought to be critical for the allergic inflammation associated with atopic diseases such as asthma and eczema. The targets of pitrakinra action are inflammatory cells (dendritic cells, Th2 cells, B cells) and structural cells (smooth muscle, endothelium, epithelium) that express IL-4Rα. The drug has been applied both as a subcutaneous injection and as an inhalation, but the latter formulation proved to be more effective.