Drug Update: January 2018

Specialty Drug Approvals

Fasenra® (benralizumab) Approved to Treat Severe Eosinophilic Asthma

In November 2017, AstraZeneca announced Fasenra® (benralizumab) had received FDA-approval as an add-on maintenance treatment for severe eosinophilic asthma in patients who are 12 years of age and older. Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell that can be elevated in patients with asthma resulting in inflammation and asthma exacerbations. Fasenra works to decrease the development, action, and survival of eosinophils. Up to 10% of asthma patients have severe asthma that is not adequately controlled despite receiving standard-of-care asthma controller medications and may require chronic oral corticosteroids. Patients with severe, uncontrolled asthma can experience frequent episodes of worsening control and limited lung function which can affect their quality of life. The use of oral steroids to treat severe episodes may lead to short- and long-term side effects.

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