Weight-adjusted Intravenous Reslizumab in Severe Asthma with Inadequate Response to Fixed-Dose Subcutaneous Mepolizumab

Manali Mukherjee, Fernando Aleman Paramo, Melanie Kjarsgaard, Brittany Salter, Gayatri Nair, Nicola LaVigne, Katherine Radford, Roma Sehmi, Parameswaran Nair
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 2018 January 1, 197 (1): 38-46

RATIONALE: Clinical benefits of fixed-dose 100-mg subcutaneous (SC) mepolizumab in prednisone-dependent patients are modest when sputum eosinophilia is not adequately controlled.

OBJECTIVES: This study compared treatment response of weight-adjusted intravenous (IV) reslizumab in patients previously treated with 100-mg SC mepolizumab.

METHODS: Ten prednisone-dependent patients with asthma (sputum eosinophils >3% and blood eosinophils >300 cells/μl), who had previously received mepolizumab (100 mg SC dosed every 4 wk [Q4W]) for at least 1 year, received two infusions of placebo (Q4W) followed by four infusions of 3.0 mg/kg reslizumab Q4W in a single-blind, placebo-controlled sequential trial. Primary outcomes were reduction of eosinophils in sputum and blood. Additional outcomes included FEV1 , asthma control questionnaire, eosinophil peroxidase, IL-5, sputum and blood innate lymphoid cells group 2, eosinophil progenitor cells, and autoimmune responses.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: IV reslizumab attenuated sputum eosinophils by 91.2% (P = 0.002), blood eosinophil counts by 87.4% (P = 0.004), and sputum eosinophil peroxidase levels by 65.5% (P = 0.03) compared with placebo. Attenuation of both local and systemic eosinophilia was associated with statistically significant improvements in FEV1 (P = 0.004) and asthma control questionnaire five-question instrument scores (P = 0.006). Decrease in percent sputum eosinophil was greater with reslizumab (by 42.7%) compared with mepolizumab (by 5.0%) and this was associated with greater improvement in asthma control questionnaire (P = 0.01; analysis of covariance of Δ between before and after treatment, mepolizumab vs. reslizumab, adjusted for baseline prednisone). Changes in sputum IL-5 and anti-eosinophil peroxidase IgG after anti-IL-5 therapy were predictors of response.

CONCLUSIONS: Weight-adjusted IV reslizumab was superior to fixed-dose SC mepolizumab in attenuating airway eosinophilia in prednisone-dependent patients with asthma, with associated improvement in asthma control. Clinical trial registered with (NCT 02559791).

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