Mepolizumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody against interleukin-5, significantly reduced asthma exacerbations and improved quality of life among patients treated with inhaled glucocorticoids, according to a randomized, placebo-controlled trial with 576 participants (Ortega H et al. N Engl J Med. 2014;371:1198-207).
Patients with recurrent asthma exacerbations and evidence of eosinophilic inflammation who used high doses of inhaled glucocorticoids were randomly assigned to receive an intravenous or subcutaneous dose of mepolizumab or placebo every 4 weeks for 32 weeks. All 3 groups had lower rates of exacerbations, but treated patients had greater reductions: 47% in the intravenous group and 53% in the subcutaneous group compared with placebo.
Slomski A. Mepolizumab May Substantially Reduce Asthma Exacerbations. JAMA. 2014;312(16):1624. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.13122