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New Anti-Eosinophil Drugs for asthma and COPD: targeting the trait!

Elisabeth H. Bel, MD, PhD; Anneke ten Brinke, MD, PhD
Author and Funding Information

Conflict of interest statements

In the last 3 years, dr Bel has received fees for speaking and consulting from Sanofi-Regeneron, Novartis, AstraZeneca, Teva, GlaxoSmithKline, Vectura and Boehringer, and grants for research from GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Roche, and Novartis

Dr ten Brinke received fees for speaking and consulting from Novartis, AstraZeneca, Teva and GlaxoSmithKline , and grants for research from Teva, Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline.

1Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2Medical Centre Leeuwarden, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands

Corresponding author: Elisabeth H. Bel Department of respiratory Medicine Academic Medical Centre Meibergdreef 9 1105AZ Amsterdam.


Copyright 2017, . All Rights Reserved.


Chest. 2017. doi:10.1016/j.chest.2017.05.019
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Abstract

Asthma and chronic obstructive airways disease (COPD) are prevalent chronic inflammatory airway diseases that are responsible for a large global disease burden. Both diseases are complex and heterogeneous, and are increasingly recognized as overlapping syndromes that may share similar pathophysiologic mechanisms and treatable traits. Eosinophilic airway inflammation is considered the most influential treatable trait of chronic airway disease, and over the last decade several monoclonal antibodies and small molecule therapies have been developed to target this trait. These include monoclonal antibodies against IL-5 or IL-5 receptor alpha (mepolizumab, reslizumab, benralizumab), IL-13 (lebrikizumab, tralokinumab), IL-4 receptor alpha (dupilumab), Immune globuline E (IgE) (omalizumab), anti-Thymic Stromal Lymphopoitin (TSLP) (tezepelumab) and small molecule therapies such as prostaglandin D2 blockers (fevipiprant, timapiprant). Although these novel biologics have shown promising results in many asthmatics and COPD patients with eosinophilic airway inflammation, it is evident that not all patients respond equally well, despite similar clinical, functional and inflammatory characteristics. This heterogeneity in treatment response is probably related to different molecular pathways or endotypes leading to eosinophilic airway inflammation including adaptive immune pathways mediated by T helper2 (Th2) cells, and innate immune pathways mediated by innate lymphoid cells (ILC2). The relative contribution of these pathways in asthma and COPD is not yet clarified, and there are currently no reliable biomarkers that represent the different pathways. Therefore there is an urgent need for easily measurable and reproducible biomarkers that are linked to underlying pathophysiological disease mechanisms and can predict and monitor responses to novel biologic agents.


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