Periodontal effects of the reversible dipeptidyl peptidase 1 inhibitor brensocatib in bronchiectasis

J. C. Gunsolley (Lead / Corresponding author), J. D. Chalmers, O. Sibila, C. Fernandez, F. A. Scannapieco

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Aims: Brensocatib is a reversible inhibitor of dipeptidyl peptidase 1 (cathepsin C), in development to treat chronic non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis. The phase 2, randomized, placebo-controlled WILLOW trial (NCT03218917) was conducted to examine whether brensocatib reduced the incidence of pulmonary exacerbations. Brensocatib prolonged the time to the first exacerbation and led to fewer exacerbations than placebo. Because brensocatib potentially affects oral tissues due to its action on neutrophil-mediated inflammation, we analyzed periodontal outcomes in the trial participants.

Materials and Methods: Patients with bronchiectasis were randomized 1:1:1 to receive once-daily oral brensocatib 10 or 25 mg or placebo. Periodontal status was monitored throughout the 24-week trial in a prespecified safety analysis. Periodontal pocket depth (PPD) at screening, week 8, and week 24 was evaluated. Gingival inflammation was evaluated by a combination of assessing bleeding upon probing and monitoring the Löe-Silness Gingival Index on 3 facial surfaces and the mid-lingual surface.

Results: At week 24, mean ± SE PPD reductions were similar across treatment groups: -0.07 ± 0.007, -0.06 ± 0.007, and -0.15 ± 0.007 mm with brensocatib 10 mg, brensocatib 25 mg, and placebo, respectively. The distribution of changes in PPD and the number of patients with multiple increased PPD sites were similar across treatment groups at weeks 8 and 24. The frequencies of gingival index values were generally similar across treatment groups at each assessment. An increase in index values 0-1 and a decrease in index values 2-3 over time and at the end of the study were observed in all groups, indicating improved oral health.

Conclusions: In patients with non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis, brensocatib 10 or 25 mg had an acceptable safety profile after 6 months' treatment, with no changes in periodontal status noted. Improvement in oral health at end of the study may be due to regular dental care during the trial and independent of brensocatib treatment.

Knowledge Transfer Statement: The results of this study suggest that 24 weeks of treatment with brensocatib does not affect periodontal disease progression. This information can be used by clinicians when considering treatment approaches for bronchiectasis and suggests that the use of brensocatib will not be limited by periodontal disease risks. Nevertheless, routine dental/periodontal care should be provided to patients irrespective of brensocatib treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalJDR Clinical and Translational Research
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Sept 2023


  • clinical trial
  • immunology
  • pathogenesis
  • inflammation mediators
  • neutrophils
  • elastase


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