Self-Administration Mepolizumab Well-Received by Eligible Patients

May 17, 2020
Kevin Kunzmann

A new study shows consistent confidence and anxiety of self-care with the injectable biologic in patients with asthma.

Use of mepolizumab (Nucala) self-administration autoinjector was associated with consistent levels of user anxiety, satisfaction, confidence, and convenience regardless of previous use, according to new findings.

A new post-hoc descriptive study from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), planned for presentation at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) 2020 International Conference, compared patient experiences when switched from mepolizumab to self-administration auto-injector.

After receiving initial approval in 2015, mepolizumab was approved as the first biologic indicated for pediatric severe eosinophilic asthma last September. It was also approved for self-administration in patients aged ≥12 years old last year.

An international team of investigators conducted an open-label, single-arm, phase 3a trial with eligible patients diagnosed with asthma for ≥2 years. Patients were either being treated with subcutaneous (SC) mepolizumab 100 mg for the treatment of severe eosinophilic asthma every 4 weeks for ≥12 weeks prior to screening, or at least met additional severe eosinophilic asthma criteria requiring regular care with high-dose inhaled corticosteroids plus controller medication, and a history of ≥1 exacerbation requiring care in the past year.

“To capture the experience of the 2 different patient groups, a quantitative questionnaire was administered to all participants at the end of the study,” investigators explained.

The questionnaire prompted patients to detail their experience using the mepolizumab autoinjector, including self-assessment of their anxiety, satisfaction, comfort, and confidence levels in treating themselves.

More than half (n = 84 [53%]) of patients participating in the trial used in-clinic mepolizumab prior to baseline. These patients reported similar demographic and medical history to patients previously not treated with mepolizumab.

The group previously treated with mepolizumab had a lower mean prior year exacerbation rate versus those not treated with it (1.3 vs 2.0).

The rate of prior mepolizumab users to report moderate to extreme anxiety with self-administration autoinjector (17%) was similar to mepolizumab-naïve patients.

Both groups largely reported being satisfied or very satisfied with four-week self-administration mepolizumab (96% and 94%, respectively), as well as convenience (97% and 90%) and confidence (96% and 90%) in using it.

A slightly greater rate of patients with prior mepolizumab experience reported ease of use with self-administration autoinjector than those without experience (93% vs 86%).

Overall, though, investigators concluded self-administration autoinjector mepolizumab had consistent reception among patients with severe eosinophilic asthma regardless of their past treatment history.

“Regardless of prior use of mepolizumab, users reported similar levels of anxiety, satisfaction, confidence, and convenience with self-administering mepolizumab using the autoinjector,” they wrote.

The study, “The Severe Asthma Patient Experience: In-Clinic and Self Administration of Mepolizumab,” was published online by ATS.