Benralizumab is a new biologic therapy specifically for persistent and severe asthma.
In a significant stride forward, Professor David Jackson of King’s College has spearheaded research unveiling the transformative potential of benralizumab, a biologic therapy that could reshape the landscape of treatment for severe asthma cases.
This multinational study, published in The Lancet and spanning 22 sites across the UK, France, Italy, and Germany, positions benralizumab as a promising departure from the traditional use of high dose inhaled steroids, renowned for their adverse effects.
Conducted over a span of 48 weeks and involving 208 participants, the SHAMAL study has revealed the groundbreaking potential of benralizumab in the management of severe asthma cases. Administered at intervals of four to eight weeks, this biologic therapy acts by diminishing inflammatory eosinophil cells, which are pivotal contributors to the development of severe asthma.
A notable discovery from the research is that 92% of individuals utilizing benralizumab managed to safely decrease their intake of inhaled steroids, and more than 60% opted to cease usage entirely. Furthermore, around 90% of participants encountered no worsening of symptoms as they gradually tapered their high-dose inhaled steroids. This presents an optimistic outlook for alleviating the healthcare burdens linked to asthma exacerbations.
The groundbreaking results not only hold promise for individuals grappling with severe asthma but also have broader implications for healthcare systems. Beyond the clinical benefits, the study was funded by AstraZeneca and in collaboration with esteemed institutions such as:
- Queens University Belfast,
- Université Paris-Saclay, and
- Trinity College Dublin.
This shows just how extensive the collective effort to advance asthma research really is.
Benralizumab, at the forefront of innovative biologic therapies, emerges as a game-changer in the treatment of severe asthma. This monoclonal antibody represents a novel approach to managing the condition, offering a promising alternative to high dose inhaled steroids.
Administered every four to eight weeks, benralizumab operates by specifically targeting and reducing inflammatory eosinophil cells, which play a pivotal role in the development of severe asthma. Unlike traditional asthma treatments that aim to alleviate symptoms, benralizumab directly addresses the underlying cause of severe asthma, offering a more targeted and potentially safer therapeutic option.
By binding to the interleukin-5 receptor, benralizumab inhibits the activity of eosinophils, thereby preventing their contribution to the inflammation characteristic of severe asthma.
Operating by reducing inflammatory eosinophil cells, pivotal in severe asthma development, benralizumab offers an innovative approach available in specialized NHS asthma centers. The 48-week SHAMAL study, involving 208 patients across 22 sites, showcased the therapy’s effectiveness.
During these tests, approximately 90% of participants experienced no exacerbation of symptoms while tapering high dose inhaled steroids.
While the outcomes of the SHAMAL study represent significant progress in the treatment of severe asthma cases, continued research is essential. Investigations similar to SHAMAL play a critical role in establishing guidelines for the safe and effective reduction of high-dose steroid use when implementing other biological therapies.
Supported by funding from AstraZeneca, the SHAMAL study brought together researchers from prestigious institutions, highlighting the potential of benralizumab as a beacon of hope for millions grappling with severe asthma. These findings emphasize the transformative nature of biologic therapies in the realm of severe asthma care and underscore the necessity for persistent research efforts in this promising field.