Young patients with severe eosinophilic asthma can now being accessing treatment with Nucala, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline.
In September 2013, the Food and Drug Administration approved the maintenance treatment for children between the ages of 6 and 11 years old. It had previously only been approved for those that are 12 years and older.
Eosinophilic asthma is triggered by an elevated white blood cell count of eosinophils. The symptoms are the same as regular asthma sufferers but worse. Eosinophils trigger similar symptoms of regular asthma such as fluid-blocked airways that make it difficult to breathe. The symptoms of eosinophilic asthma can affect the sinuses, nasal passageways and lower airways as well. Other symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Tightness in the chest
- Obstructed airflow
- Stuffy nose
- Nasal drainage
- Chronic sinus infections
- Anosmia, or a lost sense of smell
- Nasal polyps
The causes of eosinophilic asthma are murky and unclear. It’s been found to develop when people are fighting off a parasitic infection,
Nucala is an injection used by a healthcare professional and comes in 100mg single-dose vials or pre-filled autoinjectors. Dr. Hal Barron, chief scientific officer and president of R&D, GSK said the options for children with severe eosinophilic asthma have limited choices available to them.
“We believe this important new indication for Nucala is a significant development for these children and their families,” he said.