New Drug “Mepolizumab”a Boon for Asthma SufferersAccording to the recent research conducted on GlaxoSmithKline’s experimental drug “mepolizumab”, it was revealed that the drug might help small group of asthma sufferers whose illness can be difficult to control. GlaxoSmithKline is one of the world leading pharmarceutical companies.

Studies reported in the New England Journal of Medicine said that the drug was helpful for the patients whom oral corticosteroid treatment was not very effective as they had high levels of immune cells known as eosinophils. Also known as Bosatria, the use of drug reduced the number of asthma attacks by decreasing the number of eosinophils.

Mepolizumab inhibits an immune system signaling chemical called interleukin-5, said the report.

Dr. Sally Wenzel of the University of Pittsburgh commented that, “Although up to 40 percent of cases of severe asthma start later in life, the eosinophilic form of asthma probably represents less than 5 percent of the total number of cases of adult-onset asthma.”

Dr. Paul O’Byrne of Canada’s McMaster University, who also worked on one of the studies, said “This is a very difficult-to-manage group of asthmatics.” He also said that these asthma patients are those people who are already surviving on a lot of asthma medications and are also using oral corticosteroids for controlling the symptoms. He and his colleagues found that the use of mepolizumab reduced the need for oral steroids.

In a telephone interview O’Byrne told, “It had a very dramatic benefit. Most of the patients had been taking oral steroids for about 10 years and still they did not have an exacerbation of their asthma control.”

Similar results about the drug were also produced in another study that was led by Dr. Ian Pavord of the University Hospitals of Leicester National Health Service Trust in Britain. The studies were conducted after the drug tests on a broader group of asthma patients failed to produce major improvement.