Objective To review the structure, function, clinical utility, and safety of current biologic targeted therapies being used for the treatment of asthma. Data Sources Medical literature obtained from PubMed and OVID searches from June to November 2013. Study Selections Studies were selected based on article impact, relevance, and clinical significance. Particular emphasis was placed on articles discussing therapies targeted at IgE, interleukin (IL)-4, IL-4 receptor, IL-5, IL-13, tumor necrosis factor-α, CRTh2, and toll-like receptors 7 and 9. Results Since the approval of omalizumab in 2003, the development of biologic asthma therapies has grown at a remarkable pace. With approximately 30 drugs currently in clinical trials and dozens more in development, the future of asthma biologic therapies is promising. Despite several well-publicized setbacks, researchers remain focused on elucidating the complex pathophysiology of asthma. The hope is that asthma biologic therapies will eventually be tailored to an individual's asthma phenotype. With more than 300 million people worldwide affected by asthma and with roughly 5% to 10% of this population living with severe, uncontrolled asthma, the need for new biologic therapies is great. Conclusion The introduction of each new biologic therapy into clinical trials has been associated with great anticipation, but the outcome of these trials, in many cases, has led to disappointment. Given the lack of overwhelming positive responses, these results have emphasized that asthma is a complex clinical syndrome with multiple underlying genotypes and clinical phenotypes. It has become abundantly clear that it is very unlikely that there is one "magic bullet" to cure all patients with asthma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine