Review of monoclonal antibody therapies in asthma and allergic diseases - a new paradigm for precision medicine
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BACKGROUND: Elucidation of the critical immune pathways involved in allergic inflammation has identified, apart from IgE, therapeutic targets in the cytokine network suitable for intervention by biological therapies. OBJECTIVE: The drugs that target the cytokine networks pertinent to asthma and allergic diseases are reviewed and some illustrative case histories presented. The overview proposes a framework to use when deciding which monoclonal antibody (mAb) to select for treatment of severe asthma based on total IgE concentration, peripheral blood eosinophil count, induced sputum analysis and measurement of fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FENO). METHODS: Internet-based literature search including PubMed for studies on biological therapies targeting IgE and the cytokine network in allergic inflammation focusing on asthma with and without rhinosinusitis and nasal polyposis, eczema, urticaria and food allergies. Lists of pivotal trials published in the peer reviewed literature and pertaining to their own mAb products were also provided by GSK, AstraZeneca and Sanofi. Therapeutic agents licensed or in advanced stages of development (Phase 2b and 3) were selected for discussion. RESULTS: The survey identifies a number of mAbs with substantial potential for the future targeted treatment of asthma with and without rhinosinusitis and nasal polyposis, eczema, urticaria and food allergies uncontrolled by existing therapies. A pragmatic framework is proposed for selecting the optimal mAb for initial use in individual patients with severe asthma. CONCLUSIONS: Launch of these new biologicals may revolutionise the treatment of allergic diseases if employed in an endotype-specific fashion, heralding an unprecedented era of personalised medicine.