The results of two research studies presented by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries showed that patients diagnosed with asthma over the age of 40 with high eosinophil levels responded well to treatment with reslizumab. The results showed a reduction in asthma exacerbations that was nearly 75% over the number of exacerbations incurred by patients who took a placebo. The results of the studies were presented at the 2015 European Research Society International Congress.

Reslizumab, a biological therapy, is currently being tested but is not yet approved to treat asthma patients who were not notably improved after taking inhaled corticosteroids for their asthma. People over 40 years of age with elevated eosinophil counts were studied in two identical Phase III trials using reslizumab to manage these challenging patients, and patients who had at least a single asthma exacerbation within the last year and an eosinophil count greater than 400 were included in the study.

The participants who fell into this category showed reductions in asthma exacerbations by 75% and an improvement in FEV1. However, in the total population of participants, the number of asthma exacerbations were lessened by only 54%, and those were diagnosed under the age of 40 had a reduction in asthma exacerbations by just 42%.

A Lung Disease News report notes that there were some negative effects of those taking reslizumab, but the effects were the same as in the placebo group. Adverse events included headache, asthma, sinusitis, nasopharyngitis, influenza, and upper respiratory infections. In addition, two participants on reslizumab had anaphylaxis and were removed from the study.

Dr. Guy Bursselle, author of the abstract, explains that individuals diagnosed with asthma after the age of 40 are often difficult to manage. The Lung Disease News report indicates that the use of reslizumab in these patients along with standard asthma care may help patients improve the control of their asthma and can help reduce the number of asthma exacerbations.

Source: Lung Disease News