This article is part of Pulmonology Advisor‘s coverage of the ACAAI 2019 meeting, taking place in Houston, TX. Our staff will report on medical research related to allergies, asthma, and more conducted by experts in the field. Check back regularly for more news from ACAAI 2019.


HOUSTON — Benralizumab has demonstrated real life effectiveness at 48 weeks by reducing exacerbations and improving symptoms and control in patients with severe eosinophilic asthma, according to research presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology, held November 7 to 11, in Houston, Texas.

Benralizumab was approved in November 2017 in the United States for patients aged 12 years and older with severe eosinophilic asthma. Although previous trials have shown that benralizumab reduces exacerbations after 48 and 56 weeks, there is limited real life evaluation of effectiveness.

Researchers conducted a retrospective study of patients with severe, uncontrolled, eosinophilic asthma who received benralizumab for 48 weeks (N=9) using data on asthma symptoms, control, exacerbations, spirometry, and Asthma Control Test (ACT) scores collected from medical records. Treatment effectiveness was evaluated by comparing data for 48 weeks before treatment with data for 48 weeks after treatment. The variables studied included improvement in forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1; ≥12% predicted), 50% reduction in asthma exacerbations, and improved ACT score ≥3. Response to benralizumab therapy was defined by marked improvement in or complete control of asthma symptoms based on Global Evaluation of Treatment Effectiveness (GETE) scores.

The 9 patients included in the study had a mean age of 44 years, 44.4% were women (n=4), and 77.7% were atopic (n=7). The mean baseline eosinophil count was 651 cells/mcL. Over 48 weeks of treatment, visit compliance was 90.3%. Overall, there was a 70.6% decrease in asthma exacerbations (3.78 vs 1.11), a 3.3 point improvement in ACT scores (16.8 vs 20.1), and a 9% improvement in FEV1%-predicted (61% vs 70%). According to GETE scores, 66.7% (6 of 9) of patients were classified as responders at 48 weeks after treatment, and these patients experienced an 83.3% improvement in asthma exacerbations (4.0 vs 0.67), a 2.7 point improvement in ACT scores (18.3 vs 21), and a 16% improvement in FEV1%-predicted (62% vs 78%). No significant adverse reactions were reported.

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The study investigators concluded, “Our study has demonstrated real life effectiveness of benralizumab in eosinophilic asthmatics at 48 weeks by reducing asthma exacerbations and improving asthma symptoms and control. Results are in line with pivotal trials.”

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Reference

Murphy E, Diaz J, Singh H. Real life experience with benralizumab in patients with severe uncontrolled eosinophilic asthma. Presented at: American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Annual Scientific Meeting 2019; November 7-11, 2019; Houston, TX. Abstract P215.