Mepolizumab Cuts Rate of Exacerbations in Severe Eosinophilic Asthma

Researchers compared hospitalization rates in patients with treated with mepolizumab or placebo
Researchers compared hospitalization rates in patients with treated with mepolizumab or placebo

Mepolizumab cut the rate of exacerbations requiring hospitalization and/or emergency room visit by approximately half compared to placebo in patients with severe eosinophilic asthma, according to a study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

Mepolizumab has shown to decrease the frequency of clinically significant exacerbations in patients with severe eosinophilic asthma vs. placebo. Individual studies, however, have been difficult to determine the rate of hospitalizations and emergency room visits. Researchers from GlaxoSmithKline, Research Triangle Park, NC, and the United Kingdom aimed to compare hospitalization or hospitalization and/or emergency room visit rates in patients with severe eosinophilic asthma treated with mepolizumab or placebo in addition to standard of care for ≥24 weeks. 

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The team searched for relevant studies in PubMed and the GSK Clinical Study Register; 4 studies (n=1,338) were identified for inclusion. The primary endpoints were the rate of exacerbations requiring hospitalization and the rate of exacerbations requiring hospitalization/emergency room visit. They also determined the proportion of patients with ≥1 event. 

Mepolizumab was found to significantly reduce the rate of exacerbations requiring hospitalization (relative rate 0.49, 95% CI: 0.30–0.80; P=0.004) and hospitalization/emergency room visit (relative rate 0.49, 95% CI: 0.33–0.73; P<0.001) compared to placebo. Further, significant reductions of 45% and 38% were also seen for the proportion of patients experiencing ≥1 hospitalization and hospitalization and/or emergency room visit, respectively. 

Treatment with mepolizumab "addresses a key outcome in a patient population with a high unmet need," study authors concluded.

For more information visit jacionline.org.

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