Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Benralizumab trials cast doubt on eosinophil depletion’s role in COPD treatment

Key clinical point: Add-on benralizumab is not associated with a significantly lower annualized rate of exacerbations in patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and eosinophilic inflammation.

Major finding: At 56 weeks, none of the annualized COPD exacerbation rate ratios for any dose of benralizumab relative to placebo was statistically significant.

Study details: Two phase 3, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials that included more than 2,600 patients.

Disclosures: The trials were sponsored by AstraZeneca, which manufactures benralizumab (Fasenra), and by Kyowa Hakko Kirin. One researcher is supported by the National Institute for Health Research Manchester Biomedical Research Centre. The authors’ disclosures included grants and personal fees from AstraZeneca and other pharmaceutical companies.


Criner GJ et al. N Engl J Med. 2019;382(11):1023-34. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1905248.