Patients with eosinophilic asthma treated with benralizumab may experience a reduced number of asthma exacerbations without an increased incidence of adverse events compared with placebo, according to a study published in the Journal of Asthma.
Researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 7 articles that included randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled trials analyzing treatment of eosinophilic asthma with benralizumab, as well as data for lung function, adverse events, and symptoms. A total of 2321 participants were analyzed and evaluated to determine both the safety and efficacy of benralizumab compared with placebo for the treatment of eosinophilic asthma.
Participants who received benralizumab had a statistically significant lower risk of experiencing an asthma exacerbation compared with those receiving a placebo (risk ratio [RR], 0.63; 95% CI, 0.52-0.76; P <.00001), without statistical heterogeneity (I2=52%, P =.06).
In addition, 2 of the studies included in the review showed that treatment with benralizumab reduced the rate of asthma exacerbations in patients who did not have an eosinophilic phenotype.
There were no statistically significant reported differences in forced expiratory volume in 1 second, Quality of Life Assessment, or the Asthma Control Questionnaire in patients treated with benralizumab, as well as no increases in risk for adverse events compared with placebo, as the treatment was well tolerated by both groups without statistical heterogeneity (RR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.95-1.05; P =.96; I2=40%; P =.13).
Study limitations included the small size (7 studies), which resulted in an insufficient sample size to make a definitive conclusion. Dosage, route, treatment duration, and frequency of benralizumab varied among studies, and therefore may have resulted in performance bias. Further, demographic data were limited, and therefore limited the generalizability of study results.
Researchers concluded that based on the systematic review and meta-analysis, benralizumab appears to be a safe treatment option for controlling and reducing asthma exacerbations in adults diagnosed with eosinophilic asthma without increasing their risk of experiencing adverse events, but does not improve overall lung function, Quality of Life Assessment, or Asthma Control Questionnaire scores. Therefore, clinicians may consider the use of this drug in patients with eosinophilic asthma.
Tian B, Zhang G, Lou J, Zhou H, Cui W. Efficacy and safety of benralizumab for eosinophilic asthma: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials [published online December 6, 2017]. J Asthma. doi:10.1080/02770903.2017.1379534