HealthDay News — Asthma exacerbations are reduced for children and adolescents with exacerbation-prone eosinophilic asthma who are living in socioeconomically disadvantaged urban neighborhoods and receive mepolizumab therapy, according to a study published in the August 13 issue of The Lancet.
Daniel J. Jackson, MD, from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, and colleagues conducted a randomized trial at 9 urban medical centers in the US involving children and adolescents aged 6 to 17 years who lived in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods and had exacerbation-prone asthma and blood eosinophils of at least 150 cells/µL. A total of 290 participants were randomly assigned to either mepolizumab or placebo injections once every weeks plus guideline-based care for 52 weeks (146 and 144 patients, respectively).
The researchers found that within the 52-week study period, the mean number of asthma exacerbations was 0.96 and 1.30 with mepolizumab and placebo, respectively (rate ratio, 0.73). Treatment-emergent adverse events occurred in 29 and 11% of participants in the mepolizumab and placebo groups, respectively. There were no deaths attributed to mepolizumab.
“In urban children and adolescents with exacerbation-prone eosinophilic asthma, adjunctive therapy with mepolizumab reduced asthma exacerbations, but did not affect other asthma outcomes,” the authors write.
Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including GlaxoSmithKline, which manufactures mepolizumab and partially funded the study.