Weight-adjusted Intravenous Reslizumab in Severe Asthma with Inadequate Response to Fixed-Dose Subcutaneous Mepolizumab

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Clinical benefits of fixed-dose 100-mg subcutaneous (SC) mepolizumab in prednisone-dependent patients are modest when sputum eosinophilia is not adequately controlled.


This study compared treatment response of weight-adjusted intravenous (IV) reslizumab in patients previously treated with 100-mg SC mepolizumab.


Ten prednisone-dependent patients with asthma (sputum eosinophils >3% and blood eosinophils >300 cells/μl), who had previously received mepolizumab (100 mg SC dosed every 4 wk [Q4W]) for at least 1 year, received two infusions of placebo (Q4W) followed by four infusions of 3.0 mg/kg reslizumab Q4W in a single-blind, placebo-controlled sequential trial. Primary outcomes were reduction of eosinophils in sputum and blood. Additional outcomes included FEV1, asthma control questionnaire, eosinophil peroxidase, IL-5, sputum and blood innate lymphoid cells group 2, eosinophil progenitor cells, and autoimmune responses.

Measurements and Main Results:

IV reslizumab attenuated sputum eosinophils by 91.2% (P = 0.002), blood eosinophil counts by 87.4% (P = 0.004), and sputum eosinophil peroxidase levels by 65.5% (P = 0.03) compared with placebo. Attenuation of both local and systemic eosinophilia was associated with statistically significant improvements in FEV1 (P = 0.004) and asthma control questionnaire five-question instrument scores (P = 0.006). Decrease in percent sputum eosinophil was greater with reslizumab (by 42.7%) compared with mepolizumab (by 5.0%) and this was associated with greater improvement in asthma control questionnaire (P = 0.01; analysis of covariance of Δ between before and after treatment, mepolizumab vs. reslizumab, adjusted for baseline prednisone). Changes in sputum IL-5 and anti-eosinophil peroxidase IgG after anti-IL-5 therapy were predictors of response.


Weight-adjusted IV reslizumab was superior to fixed-dose SC mepolizumab in attenuating airway eosinophilia in prednisone-dependent patients with asthma, with associated improvement in asthma control.


Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT 02559791).

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