The results of a recent study reveal that anti-interleukin 5 monoclonal antibody reslizumab reduces asthma exacerbations in patients with inadequately controlled asthma with elevated blood eosinophil counts.

Dr. Mario Castro and colleagues from 232 clinical research centers evaluated the efficacy and safety of intravenous reslizumab versus placebo given every 4 weeks for 1 year in 953 patients with inadequately controlled, moderate-to-severe asthma and elevated blood eosinophil counts, according to a Medscape news report.

The results show that the probability of not having an asthma exacerbation by week 52 was notably higher with reslizumab (61% in study 1, 73% in study 2) than with placebo (44% in study 1, 52% in study 2). The Medscape news report indicates that the results did not differ among patients with baseline eosinophil counts higher than 400 cells per microliter, and short-term variability in eosinophil counts had no meaningful effect on the reduction in asthma exacerbations.

The researchers found that antibody groups also had greater improvements in FEV1, symptom scores, asthma-related quality of life, compared with placebo. More patients in the placebo groups than in the reslizumab group experienced adverse events, though the overall safety was comparable to that of placebo. The safety profile of the 15 reslizumab-treated patients who developed antidrug antibodies did not differ from that in the overall population, as noted in the Medscape news report.

The researchers conclude, “Overall, the observed reduction in asthma exacerbations and improvement in multiple measures of asthma control support the use of reslizumab as a targeted treatment option for patients with inadequately controlled asthma and elevated blood eosinophils who did not respond to an inhaled corticosteroid-based treatment (panel).”

Source: Medscape