Conference Coverage

Switch to mepolizumab safe in eosinophilic asthma


Key clinical point: Switching to mepolizumab was safe and effective for patients with severe eosinophilic asthma not responsive to omalizumab.

Major finding: Switching to mepolizumab was associated with a 65% (P less than 0.001) reduction in the rate of clinically significant exacerbations in patients not responding to omalizumab.

Study details: A multicenter, open-label, single-arm study.

Disclosures: The study was funded by GlaxoSmithKline. Dr. Frank C. Albers is an employee of GlaxoSmithKline.

Source: Albers FC et al. AAAAI/WAO Joint Congress, Poster L29/L30.



– Switching to mepolizumab resulted in a clinically significant benefit and a reduction in exacerbations for patients with severe eosinophilic asthma, according to late-breaking research presented at the joint congress of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology and the World Asthma Organization.

Frank C. Albers, MD, PhD, of GlaxoSmithKline in Chapel Hill, N.C., and his colleagues examined safety and efficacy outcomes for 145 patients aged 12 years or older with severe eosinophilic asthma (SEA) that was not well-controlled with omalizumab.

“You see similar research in oncology where, if a patient doesn’t respond, you want to try a switch,” Dr. Albers said in an interview. “The key is deciphering which patients would benefit from a switch.”

The researchers discontinued omalizumab at baseline and treated patients with 100 mg of mepolizumab every 4 weeks for 28 weeks and observed patients for 4 more weeks following last treatment. They examined Asthma Control Questionnaire-5 and St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire results. In a secondary analysis, the researchers also compared their results with placebo-arm data from previously published research.

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