Safety of humanized monoclonal antibodies against IL-5 in asthma: focus on reslizumab

Mario Cazzola*, Maria Gabriella Matera, Francesca Levi-Schaffer, Paola Rogliani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Introduction: Reslizumab, a humanized mAb against IL-5, reduces the number of eosinophils in the blood and lungs. Based on efficacy and safety data from pivotal RCTs, reslizumab had been approved for use as an add-on maintenance treatment of severe asthma with an eosinophilic phenotype in adults who have a history of exacerbations despite receiving their current asthma medicines. Areas covered: Current literature on reslizumab has been reviewed with a specific focus on its safety profile in the treatment of severe asthma. Expert opinion: Large pivotal and supportive trials reinforce the view that reslizumab is well tolerated, with an acceptable safety profile in patients exposed for longer than 2 years. However, no or few data concerning safety in special populations such as smokers, those with immune- and cellular senescence, patients with comorbidities and those receiving multi-drug treatments are available as yet. Furthermore, we need to fully elucidate some fundamental issues such as the risk of anaphylaxis and the long-term risk-benefit ratio of the impact of depletion of eosinophils and the potential risk of malignancies induced by a treatment with this anti-IL-5 agent.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)429-435
Number of pages7
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Safety
Issue number4
StatePublished - 3 Apr 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Asthma
  • eosinophils
  • interleukin-5
  • monoclonal antibodies
  • reslizumab
  • safety


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