Italian Journal of Pediatrics (2019-11-01)

Omalizumab and mepolizumab in the landscape of biological therapy for severe asthma in children: how to choose?

  • Mattia Giovannini,
  • Francesca Mori,
  • Simona Barni,
  • Maurizio de Martino,
  • Elio Novembre

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 45, no. 1
pp. 1 – 9


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Abstract Severe asthma has a substantial epidemiological impact on children and biological treatments can be an option to take into account, as they target specific molecules and pathways involved in its pathogenesis. Modern medicine is continuously and progressively oriented towards tailored treatments designed specifically for the pathology patterns observed in individual patients and identified as endotypes with associated biomarkers. In this regard, biologic treatments in asthma are one of the best examples. Among the biological drugs currently available, omalizumab is the one with the greatest amount of data on efficacy and safety, and the one we have more real-life clinical experience with. However, mepolizumab will likely be accessible soon globally for clinical use. Moreover, research on biological drugs for the treatment of severe asthma is expanding rapidly, with some molecules currently used in adult patients that could be registered also for pediatric use and new molecules that could be available in the future. On the other hand, due to this potential abundance of therapeutic options, new criteria could become necessary to guide clinicians through an evidence-based choice between omalizumab and these new drugs. For the same reason, more data collected specifically from pediatric clinical trials are necessary. In this review we aim to analyze the factors that could help clinicians make their choice and to highlight the unmet need for a more evidence-based choice.