Introduction

The drug reslizumab (trade name EU: Cinqaero, U.S.: Cinqair) has been approved in Germany since August 2016 for the treatment of severe eosinophilic asthma in adults. Reslizumab is an additional treatment option if treatment with high-dose corticosteroids and other asthma medications is no longer enough to manage the symptoms.

Asthma is the result of an exaggerated immune response. When the mucous membranes lining the lungs (bronchi) come into contact with certain irritants, the muscles of the airways may contract. Typical symptoms include episodes or "attacks" of wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. Eosinophilic granulocytes are cells of the body's immune system. In eosinophilic asthma, patients have an increased number of these cells in their blood and phlegm.

Reslizumab is an antibody against a chemical messenger produced by the immune system. It is meant to weaken the immune response in the bronchi by reducing the number of eosinophilic granulocytes.

Application

Reslizumab is given every four weeks in the form of an infusion (an IV drip), entering the bloodstream directly through a vein. The exact dose will depend on the patient's body weight.

Other treatments

The standard treatment for people with severe eosinophilic asthma is an individual combination of inhaled or oral corticosteroids, long-acting bronchodilators to widen the airways, tiotropium, and, for certain types of severe allergic asthma, omalizumab.

Assessment

In 2017, the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG, Germany) wanted to look into the advantages and disadvantages of reslizumab compared with the standard treatments for the above groups of patients.

But the manufacturer did not provide any suitable data with which to do the assessment.

More information

This information summarizes the main results of a review produced by the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG, Germany). The review was commissioned by the German Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) as part of the “early benefit assessment of medications.” On the basis of the review and the hearings received, the G-BA passed a resolution on the added benefit of reslizumab (EU: Cinqaero, U.S.: Cinqair).