Background: Patients with frequent asthma exacerbations resulting in emergency department (ED) visits are at increased risk for future exacerbations. We examined the ability of 1 dose of benralizumab, an investigational antiinterleukin 5 receptor α monoclonal antibody, to reduce recurrence after acute asthma exacerbations.
Methods: In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, eligible subjects presented to the ED with an asthma exacerbation, had partial response to treatment, and greater than or equal to 1 additional exacerbation within the previous year. Subjects received 1 intravenous infusion of placebo (n = 38) or benralizumab (0.3 mg/kg, n = 36 or 1.0 mg/kg, n = 36) added to outpatient management. The primary outcome was the proportion of subjects with greater than or equal to 1 exacerbation at 12 weeks in placebo vs the combined benralizumab groups. Other outcomes included the time-weighted rate of exacerbations at week 12, adverse events, blood eosinophil counts, asthma symptom changes, and health care resource utilization.
Results: The proportion of subjects with greater than or equal to 1 asthma exacerbation at 12 weeks was not different between placebo and the combined benralizumab groups (38.9% vs 33.3%; P = .67). However, compared with placebo, benralizumab reduced asthma exacerbation rates by 49% (3.59 vs 1.82; P = .01) and exacerbations resulting in hospitalization by 60% (1.62 vs 0.65; P = .02) in the combined groups. Benralizumab reduced blood eosinophil counts but did not affect other outcomes, while demonstrating an acceptable safety profile.
Conclusions: When added to usual care, 1 dose of benralizumab reduced the rate and severity of exacerbations experienced over 12 weeks by subjects who presented to the ED with acute asthma.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00768079.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.