Mepolizumab in the management of severe eosinophilic asthma in adults: current evidence and practical experience.
ABSTRACT: Asthma is a chronic inflammatory condition involving the airways with varying pathophysiological mechanisms, clinical symptoms and outcomes, generally controlled by conventional therapies including inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting ?2 agonists. However, these therapies are unable to successfully control symptoms in about 5-10% of severe asthma patients. Atopic asthma, characterized by high immunoglobulin (Ig)E or eosinophilia, represents about 50% of asthmatic patients. Interleukin (IL)-5 is the main cytokine responsible of activation of eosinophils, hence therapeutic strategies have been investigated and developed for clinical use. Biologics targeting IL-5 and its receptor (first mepolizumab and subsequently, reslizumab and benralizumab), have been recently approved and used as add-on therapy for severe eosinophilic asthma resulting in a reduction in the circulating eosinophil count, improvement in lung function and exacerbation reduction in asthma patients. Despite these biologics having been approved for stratified severe asthma patients that remain uncontrolled with high doses of conventional therapy, a number of patients may be eligible for more than one biologic. Presently, the lack of head-to-head studies comparing the biological agents among themselves and with conventional therapy make the choice of optimal therapy for each patient a challenge for clinicians. Moreover, discontinuation of these treatments, implications for efficacy or adverse events, in particular in long-term treatment, and needs for useful biomarkers are still matters of debate. In this review we evaluate to date, the evidence on mepolizumab that seems to demonstrate it is a well-tolerated and efficacious regimen for use in severe eosinophilic asthma, though more studies are still required.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Current availability of several biologic treatments for severe asthma makes it possible to choose the most appropriate for each patient. Sometimes a good percentage of patients with severe asthma may be eligible for biologics that target either the allergic phenotype or the eosinophilic one, but not all respond to that selected as first choice. The aim of our real-life study was to assess whether, for patients with severe eosinophilic allergic asthma, not previously controlled by the anti-IgE omalizumab, the shift to another biologic targeting interleukin-5, such as mepolizumab, may represent a good therapeutic choice. METHODS:A total of 41 consecutive patients with severe, persistent allergic, eosinophilic asthma, uncontrolled despite treatment with omalizumab, were enrolled in seven certified Clinical Respiratory Units of Southern Italy (Catania, Catanzaro, Foggia, Bari, Palermo, and two University Respiratory Units of Naples) and shifted to mepolizumab without a wash-out period. Data at baseline, after at least 12?months of therapy with omalizumab, and after at least 12?months of treatment with mepolizumab were collected. RESULTS:After at least 12?months of therapy with mepolizumab, patients experienced a significant decrease in the number of exacerbations/year (5.8?±?1.8 versus 0.7?±?0.9, p?<?0.0001), an increment of asthma control test score (12?±?2.7 versus 21.9?±?2.7, p?<?0.0001), an increase in pre-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1?s (1.56?±?0.45?l versus 1.86?±?0.52?l, p?<?0.0001), and a reduction of blood eosinophils (584?±?196 cells/µl versus 82?±?56 cells/µl, p?<?0.0001). The percentage of patients who were dependent on corticosteroids significantly decreased from 46% at baseline to 5% during treatment with mepolizumab. CONCLUSION:Results of our real-life multicentric experience confirms that the shift to mepolizumab could be a good therapeutic strategy in severe eosinophilic allergic asthma not previously controlled by omalizumab. The reviews of this paper are available via the supplemental material section.
Project description:<b>Background</b>: New, complex, and expensive therapies targeting Interleukin-5 (IL-5) to treat severe eosinophilic asthma are emerging. <b>Objective</b>: To assess efficacy, adverse events, and inter-drug comparison of mepolizumab and reslizumab for treating severe eosinophilic asthma. <b>Design</b>: A systematic review and meta-analysis on randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trials elucidating two critical (exacerbation rate and oral corticosteroid (OCS) use) and six important clinical outcomes on the efficacy and safety of mepolizumab and reslizumab. <b>Results</b>: Five studies (N = 2197) contributed with data for exacerbation rate, showing a reduction of 53% (95% CI 46; 59) in favour of anti-IL-5, corresponding to -0.94 annual exacerbations (95% CI -1.08;-0.82), thus exceeding the predefined minimal clinical important difference (MCID) of 25% reduction of the estimated ?2 annual exacerbations. Quality of evidence was considered moderate, with low heterogeneity in study findings (I2 = 0%). One study (N = 135) contributed with data on percentage of patients experiencing ?50% reduction inoral corticosteroid treatment, showing an effect of 20% (95% CI 2.3;47) in favour of anti-IL-5 treatment (mepolizumab), thus exceeding the predefined MCID of 10%. Quality of evidence was considered low. Compared to placebo, anti-IL-5 showed significant improvements in lung function, asthma control, and asthma-related quality of life, but below the MCIDs. No differences were observed for serious adverse events and number of patients, who dropped out. No studies evaluating sickleave or head-to-head comparisons were identified. By indirect comparison, we found no significant difference between mepolizumab and reslizumab in any ofthe predefined clinical outcomes. OCS treatment reduction could not be compared due to lack of reslizumab studies investigating this outcome. <b>Conclusions</b>: Mepolizumab and reslizumab provide significant and clinically relevant improvements in exacerbation rate and OCS reduction. Indirect, inter-study comparisons revealed no differences between the anti-IL-5 drugs in efficacy or safety measures.
Project description:Reslizumab and mepolizumab are recently approved monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of severe (uncontrolled) eosinophilic asthma. Both are effective in neutralizing the function of interleukin-5 (IL-5). This study is the first to compare the binding affinity and in vitro potency of both antibodies in head-to-head assays. Two assays assessed binding affinity (using the equilibrium dissociation constant [KD]) of each drug for human IL-5. In the Biacore surface plasmon resonance assay, the association constant (kon) values for human IL-5 for reslizumab and mepolizumab were 3.93 × 10? and 1.83 × 10?, respectively. The dissociation constant (koff) values were 4.29 × 10?? and 2.14 × 10??, respectively. Calculated KD values for human IL-5 for reslizumab and mepolizumab were 109 and 1,170 pM, respectively, representing an approximately 11-fold stronger binding affinity with reslizumab. In the Kinetic Exclusion Assay, the kon values for human IL-5 for reslizumab and mepolizumab were 3.17 × 10? and 1.32 × 10?, respectively. The koff values were 1.36 × 10?? and 1.48 × 10??, respectively. Measured KD values for human IL-5 for reslizumab and mepolizumab were 4.3 and 112 pM, respectively, representing an approximately 26-fold stronger binding affinity for reslizumab. A human-IL-5-dependent cell proliferation assay was developed to assess in vitro potency, based on a human cell line selected for enhanced surface expression of IL-5 receptor-alpha and consistent proliferation response to IL-5. The concentration at which 50% inhibition occurred (IC??) was determined for both antibodies. Reslizumab and mepolizumab inhibited IL-5-dependent cell proliferation, with IC?? values of approximately 91.1 and 286.5 pM, respectively, representing on average 3.1-fold higher potency with reslizumab. In conclusion, comparative assays show that reslizumab has higher affinity binding for and in vitro potency against human IL-5 compared with mepolizumab. However, these results do not take into consideration the different methods of administration of reslizumab and mepolizumab.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Mepolizumab and benralizumab are biologics approved for severe eosinophilic asthma. Mepolizumab is an anti-interlukin-5 (IL-5) antibody while benralizumab is an anti-interleukin-5 receptor alpha (IL-5R?) antibody targeting the IL-5 receptor on eosinophils. Both therapies reduce oral corticosteroid requirements and asthma exacerbations. However, no head-to-head studies have been published. The aim of the present study was to compare the efficacy of peripheral eosinophil reduction of mepolizumab and benralizumab.<h4>Methods</h4>A retrospective chart review was conducted on patients with severe eosinophilic asthma who were approved for either IL-5 agent. Patients with noted non-adherence or those who were on fluctuating doses of corticosteroids for non-asthma related illnesses were excluded. The last detectable eosinophil count for each patient prior to start of therapy was compared to the highest eosinophil count noted after therapy start with at least 30 days of adherence.<h4>Results</h4>Thirty-six patients taking mepolizumab and 19 patients taking benralizumab met the inclusion criteria and had both pre-treatment and post-treatment eosinophil counts. Baseline characteristics were not statistically different between those on mepolizumab and benralizumab therapy. The mean pre-therapy serum eosinophil count did not statistically differ between patients on mepolizumab (597.2 cells/µL) compared to benralizumab (521.6 cells/µL), p?=?0.3769. While both therapies resulted in a significant decrease in eosinophil count (p?<?0.0001); the mean decrease did not statistically differ between patients taking mepolizumab compared to those on benralizumab, p?=?0.9079. Nonetheless, 100% of patients receiving benralizumab had undetectable eosinophil counts post-therapy compared to 31% of patients receiving mepolizumab (p?<?0.0001).<h4>Conclusion</h4>Both mepolizumab and benralizumab are potent targets of the IL-5 pathway with the ability to significantly reduce peripheral eosinophil counts. While there is there is no statistical difference in the magnitude of eosinophil reduction offered by each agent, benralizumab is able to decrease peripheral eosinophil counts to 0 cells/µL in more patients than mepolizumab.
Project description:Adolescents (12-17 years of age) with severe eosinophilic asthma experience frequent exacerbations and reduced lung function leading to poor health-related quality of life. Mepolizumab is approved for add-on maintenance therapy in patients with severe eosinophilic asthma???6 years of age in the EU and???12 years of age in other regions (including the USA), based on a Phase II/III program demonstrating reduced exacerbation rates with 4-weekly treatment. A total of 34 adolescent patients were recruited across the Phase III mepolizumab trials. Consistent with outcomes in the overall population, there was a reduction in the annual rate of clinically significant exacerbations, along with a reduction in blood eosinophil counts in response to mepolizumab in adolescent patients. The safety profile in adolescent patients was consistent with that seen in the overall population. Data from the Phase III clinical development program provide evidence for comparable efficacy and safety of mepolizumab between adolescents with severe eosinophilic asthma and the overall population. Clinical trial registration DREAM, NCT01000506 [MEA112997]; MENSA, NCT01691521 [MEA115588]; SIRIUS, NCT01691508 [MEA115575]; MUSCA, NCT02281318 ; COSMOS, NCT01842607 [MEA115661].
Project description:Recent research in the field of bronchial asthma has mainly focused on eosinophilic disease phenotype. Several trials proved the efficacy and safety profile of eosinophils and interleukin (IL)-5 targeting molecules, currently approved for severe asthma and available on the market. They include mepolizumab and reslizumab, IL-5 blocking molecules, and benralizumab, targeting the IL-5 receptor and eliciting a NK cell-mediated antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity against eosinophils. Eosinophilic inflammation represents the common pathophysiological background of several conditions, providing the rationale for the use of the same biologics beyond asthma. Although with different evidence grade, from clinical trials to case reports, anti-IL-5 biologics have been investigated in eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangitis, allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, chronic eosinophilic pneumonia, nasal polyposis, hypereosinophilic syndrome, and eosinophilic esophagitis. However, non-negligible differences between asthma and other eosinophilic diseases, particularly in eosinophils homing (blood and/or tissues), target organs and thus clinical features, probably account for the different response to the same drug in different clinical conditions and highlights the need for tailoring the therapeutic approach by modulating the drug dose and/or by combination therapy with multiple drugs. The optimal safety and tolerability profile of anti-IL-5 drugs warrants further and larger experimental and real-life investigations, which are needed especially in the field of non-asthma eosinophilic diseases. This review aims at summarizing the rationale for the use of biologics in eosinophilic diseases and their mechanisms of action. The current efficacy and safety evidence about eosinophils and IL-5 targeting molecules in asthma and in eosinophilic conditions beyond bronchi is also discussed.
Project description:Background:Mepolizumab (100 mg delivered s.c. every 4?weeks) is indicated for add-on maintenance treatment for patients with severe eosinophilic asthma. Mepolizumab has been shown to reduce exacerbations and the requirement for daily oral corticosteroids, and improve asthma control and symptoms. However, data on the durability of the response to mepolizumab during dosing periods are limited. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy profile in patients with severe eosinophilic asthma over the 4-weekly dosing period for various fixed mepolizumab doses. Methods:This was a post hoc analysis of data from the phase IIb/III DREAM study. Patients ?12?years of age with severe eosinophilic asthma were randomised (1:1:1:1) to receive intravenous mepolizumab 75 mg (equivalent to 100 mg s.c.), 250 mg, 750 mg or placebo, plus standard of care, every 4?weeks for 52?weeks. The number of exacerbations and eDiary data (peak expiratory flow, rescue medication use and symptom scores) from two periods in each 4-weekly dosing interval (days 1-14 and 15-28) over the 52-week treatment period were analysed. Findings:eDiary data and the proportion of patients experiencing ?1 exacerbation were similar during the first and second 2?weeks of a dosing period across all mepolizumab doses. Interpretation:These results demonstrate that the response to mepolizumab is sustained over the 4-weekly dosing period with no differences across a 10-fold dose range and supports the use of the current mepolizumab dosing regimen in patients with severe eosinophilic asthma.
Project description:Objective Mepolizumab, a humanized anti-interleukin-5 monoclonal antibody, is effective for treating eosinophilic severe asthma. However, there is a need for more biomarkers that can predict the patient response to mepolizumab before starting therapy. This study aimed to identify a new biomarker in the serum that is able to accurately predict the responsiveness to mepolizumab. Methods This study enrolled 11 patients who had all been diagnosed with severe eosinophilic asthma and were then administered mepolizumab every 4 weeks for at least 4 months. Blood samples were collected, and pulmonary function tests and questionnaires were administered at baseline and after 4, 8 and 16 weeks of treatment. The response to mepolizumab was then assessed based on the difference in the Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (AQLQ) score after 16 weeks of mepolizumab therapy compared with that at baseline. Patients with an increase in the AQLQ score of more than 0.5 were defined as responders. The cytokine levels in the blood were measured by LUMINEX 200 and ELISA. Results There were 6 responders and 5 non-responders. The responders showed a significantly lower serum level of chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 4/macrophage inflammatory protein-1? (CCL4/MIP-1?) at baseline compared to the non-responders. Receiver operating characteristic curves to distinguish responders from non-responders using the baseline serum CCL4/MIP-1? level showed a good area under the curve of 0.9. The non-responders showed a significant increase in the level of CCL4/MIP-1? after 4 weeks compared to the baseline. Conclusion A low baseline serum CCL4/MIP-1? level may be useful for predicting a good mepolizumab response in severe eosinophilic asthma.
Project description:In recent years there has been increasing recognition of varying asthma phenotypes that impact treatment response. This has led to the development of biological therapies targeting specific immune cells and cytokines in the inflammatory cascade. Currently, there are two primary asthma phenotypes, Type 2 hi and Type 2 lo, which are defined by eosinophilic and neutrophilic/pauci- granulocytic pattern of inflammation respectively. Most biologics focus on Type 2 hi asthma, including all four biologics approved for treatment of uncontrolled asthma in the United States - omalizumab, mepolizumab, reslizumab, and benralizumab. Potential new targets for drug development are being investigated, such as IL-13, IL-4? receptor, CRTH2, TSLP, IL-25, IL-13, IL-17A receptor, and CXCR2/IL-8. This review will discuss the role of these molecules on the inflammatory response in uncontrolled asthma and the emerging biologics that address them. Through the delineation of distinct immunological mechanisms in severe asthma, targeted biologics are promising new therapies that have the potential to improve asthma control and quality of life.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Mepolizumab and omalizumab are treatments for distinct but overlapping severe asthma phenotypes. OBJECTIVE:To assess if patients eligible for both biologics but not optimally controlled with omalizumab experience improved asthma control when switched directly to mepolizumab. METHODS:OSMO was a multicenter, open-label, single-arm, 32-week trial in patients with ?2 asthma exacerbations in the year prior to enrollment, despite receiving high-dose inhaled corticosteroids and other controller(s), plus omalizumab (?4 months). At baseline, patients with blood eosinophil counts ?150 cells/µL (or ?300 cells/µL in the prior year) and an Asthma Control Questionnaire (ACQ)-5 score ?1.5 discontinued omalizumab and immediately commenced mepolizumab 100 mg subcutaneously every 4 weeks. Endpoints included change from baseline in ACQ-5 score (primary), St George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) score and the proportions of ACQ-5 and SGRQ responders, all at Week 32, and the annualized exacerbation rate over the study period. RESULTS:At Week 32 (intent-to-treat population [n = 145]), the least squares (LS) mean changes (standard error [SE]) in ACQ-5 and SGRQ total scores were -1.45 (0.107) and -19.0 (1.64) points; with 77% and 79% of patients achieving the minimum clinically important differences (ACQ-5: ?0.5 points; SGRQ: ?4 points), respectively. The annualized rate of clinically significant exacerbations was 1.18 events/year, a 64% reduction from 3.26 events/year during the previous year. Safety and immunogenicity profiles were consistent with previous trials. CONCLUSION:After directly switching from omalizumab to mepolizumab, patients with uncontrolled severe eosinophilic asthma experienced clinically significant improvements in asthma control, health status, and exacerbation rate, with no tolerability issues reported.