HealthDay News — Benralizumab is associated with a significant reduction in glucocorticoid doses among adults with severe asthma, according to a study published online in the New England Journal of Medicine. The research was published to coincide with the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society (ATS), held from May 19-24 in Washington, DC.

Parameswaran Nair, MD, PhD, from McMaster University and St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton, Canada, and colleagues conducted a 28-week randomized controlled trial to examine the effects of benralizumab every 4 weeks or every 8 weeks versus placebo in adults with severe asthma.

Two hundred twenty of the 369 patients enrolled underwent randomization and started treatment. The researchers observed a significant 75% reduction in the median final oral glucocorticoid doses from baseline with the 2 benralizumab dosing regimens, compared with a 25% reduction in the oral glucocorticoid doses in the placebo group (P <.001). Compared with placebo, the odds of a reduction in the oral glucocorticoid dose were more than 4 times as high with benralizumab. Benralizumab administered every 4 and 8 weeks correlated with an annual exacerbation rate that was 55% and 70% lower, respectively, than placebo (marginal rate, 0.83 and 0.54, respectively, vs 1.83; P =.003 and P <.001, respectively).

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“Benralizumab showed significant, clinically relevant benefits, as compared with placebo, on oral glucocorticoid use and exacerbation rates,” the authors write.

Disclosures: The study was funded by AstraZeneca, the manufacturer of benralizumab.

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Nair P, Wenzel S, Rabe KF, et al; for the ZONDA Trial Investigators. Oral glucocorticoid-sparing effect of benralizumab in severe asthma [published online May 22, 2017]. N Engl J Med. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1703501