Biological Drug Therapy for complex asthma


Approximately 5% of asthma patients have severe asthma that responds poorly or not at all to high-dose inhaled or systemic steroid treatment.

Biopharmaceutical approaches have identified new therapies that target key cells and mediators that drive inflammatory responses in the asthmatic lung. Biologic agents allow the specific blocking of relevant inflammatory pathways.

They have a long duration of action allowing infrequent doses and are generally well tolerated with few side effects.

Drug names:

  • Omalizumab (ZOLAIR).
  • Mepolizumab (NUCALA).

Both drugs are given by injection at specific intervals, usually 2 or 4 weeks. Patients are assessed in specialist clinics and they have to fit strict criteria to be eligible for these drugs.