Switch from Omalizumab to Benralizumab in Allergic Patients with Severe Eosinophilic Asthma: A Real-Life Experience from Southern Italy

Biomedicines. 2021 Dec 3;9(12):1822. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines9121822.


Background: The wide availability of monoclonal antibodies for the add-on therapy of severe asthma currently allows for the personalization of biologic treatment by selecting the most appropriate drug for each patient. However, subjects with overlapping allergic and eosinophilic phenotypes can be often eligible to more than one biologic, so that the first pharmacologic choice can be quite challenging for clinicians. Within such a context, the aim of our real-life investigation was to verify whether allergic patients with severe eosinophilic asthma, not adequately controlled by an initial biologic treatment with omalizumab, could experience better therapeutic results from a pharmacologic shift to benralizumab.

Patients and methods: Twenty allergic patients with severe eosinophilic asthma, unsuccessfully treated with omalizumab and then switched to benralizumab, were assessed for at least 1 year in order to detect eventual changes in disease exacerbations, symptom control, oral corticosteroid intake, lung function, and blood eosinophils.

Results: In comparison to the previous omalizumab therapy, after 1 year of treatment with benralizumab our patients experienced significant improvements in asthma exacerbation rate (p < 0.01), rescue medication need (p < 0.001), asthma control test (ACT) score (p < 0.05), forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1) (p < 0.05), and blood eosinophil count (p < 0.0001). Furthermore, with respect to the end of omalizumab treatment, the score of sino-nasal outcome test-22 (SNOT-22) significantly decreased after therapy with benralizumab (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: The results of this real-life study suggest that the pharmacologic shift from omalizumab to benralizumab can be a valuable therapeutic approach for allergic patients with severe eosinophilic asthma, not adequately controlled by anti-IgE treatment.

Keywords: allergy; benralizumab; eosinophils; omalizumab; severe asthma; switching.