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Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2013 Mar;13(3):393-402. doi: 10.1517/14712598.2013.743989. Epub 2013 Jan 7.

Disabling inflammatory pathways with biologics and resulting clinical outcomes in severe asthma.

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  • 1University of Catania-AOU Policlinico-V. Emanuele, Department of Clinical and Molecular Bio-Medicine-Institute of Internal Medicine and Clinical Immunology, Catania, 95124, Italy.



Patients with severe asthma have a significant unmet need with persistent symptoms and/or frequent exacerbations despite high intensity treatment. These severe unrelenting symptoms have a huge impact on heathcare resources due to frequent hospital admissions and requirement for intensive and expensive medications. There is a compelling need for more effective and safer therapies to help severe asthma sufferers to achieve adequate control of their disease.


Expanding knowledge of innate and adaptive immune responses has led to development of new biologic approaches for severe asthma. Here, the authors will review the existing efficacy and safety data from clinical trials of some of the new biologic therapies that are in development for severe asthma. Their specific role in distinctively targeted subpopulations of severe asthmatics will be also discussed.


Defining and phenotyping severe asthma patients will become increasingly important as some patients who were previously classified as having severe asthma may become well-controlled with a targeted phenotype-specific treatment. However, pharmacoeconomic concerns should also be taken into account given the elevated acquisition costs of recombinant human monoclonals and of the diagnostic screening procedures for the identification of potential responders.

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