This article is part of MPR‘s coverage of the ACAAI 2019 meeting, taking place in Houston, TX. Our staff will report on medical research related to allergies, asthma, and more conducted by experts in the field. Check back regularly for more news from ACAAI 2019.

HOUSTON — Among patients with severe asthma, benralizumab treatment improved nasal symptoms, which worsen with increasing baseline blood eosinophil count (BEC), according to research presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology, held November 7 to 11, in Houston, Texas.

Patients with asthma commonly experience nasal symptoms, from allergic rhinitis to nasal polyposis. In this post hoc analysis of a 52-week, phase 2b study of benralizumab in patients with severe asthma ( Identifier: NCT01238861), investigators evaluated decreases in nasal symptoms as a function of baseline BEC. Participants received benralizumab 20 mg, benralizumab 100 mg, or placebo every 4 weeks for the first 3 doses, then every 8 weeks thereafter. Total nasal symptom score (TNSS) is a sum of 3 individual component scores (nasal obstruction, secretion, and itching), with each scored from 0 to 3 (no symptoms to severe symptoms). Area under the curve plots for TNSS and each component from week 0 to week 52 were evaluated by baseline BEC as a continuous variable with nonparametric LOESS regression curves.

A linear increase in TNSS scores with increasing baseline BEC was seen in the placebo cohort but not the benralizumab cohort (n=462; modified intention to treat population), which suggests efficacy with benralizumab compared with placebo. Similar trends in TNSS scores by baseline BEC were seen with benralizumab treatment among participants with reported nasal disease or by baseline TNSS scores greater or less than the median. Similar trends were observed by baseline BEC and benralizumab-associated nasal obstruction, secretion, and itching symptom improvements.

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The investigators concluded that benralizumab improved nasal symptoms in patients with severe asthma, which grow worse with increasing baseline BEC.

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Chipps B, Corren J, Israel E, Barker P, Kreindler J, Newbold P. Total nasal symptom score improvement with benralizumab for patients with severe, eosinophilic asthma. Presented at: American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Annual Scientific Meeting 2019; November 7-11, 2019; Houston, TX. Abstract P104

This article originally appeared on Pulmonology Advisor