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Mepolizumab and Eosinophil-Mediated Disease

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Abstract:

Eosinophils are major pro-inflammatory cells that make a major contribution to diseases that affect the upper and lower airways, skin and gastrointestinal tract. Interleukin (IL)-5 is central to their maturation and release from the bone marrow together with their subsequent accumulation and activation in the tissues. Mepolizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody (mAb) with potent IL-5 neutralizing effects that represents a potential treatment for eosinophilic diseases. Several clinical trials with mepolizumab reported that treatment of patients with mild to severe asthma resulted in a substantial reduction in blood and sputum eosinophil numbers. However, clinical outcomes were disappointing as there were no significant effects on airway hyper-reactivity or the late asthmatic reaction to inhaled allergen challenge. More recently two studies, one in patients with refractory eosinophilic asthma with a history of recurrent severe exacerbations and the other in patients with persistent sputum eosinophilia and symptoms despite systemic treatment with prednisone treatment, reported that monthly intravenous mepolizumab reduced sputum/blood eosinophilia, asthma exacerbations together with improvments in quality of life. Mepolizumab also appears to be an effective therapy for hypereosinophilic syndrome while other trials have shown efficacy of mepolizumab therapy in eosinophilic esophagitis. This review will consider the current status of the clinical development of mepolizumab for diseases with a significant eosinophilic component to their pathology.

Keywords: Asthma; Eosinophilic esophagitis; Eosinophils; Hypereosinophilic syndrome; IL-5; Mepolizumab

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/092986709789909639

Affiliations: Section of Immunology & Infection, Division of Applied Medicine, School of Medicine & Dentistry, Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill, Aberdeen, AB25 2ZD, UK.

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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