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Treatment of Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria With Benralizumab: Report of Primary Endpoint Completer Analysis, Secondary and Exploratory Endpoints
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  • Umesh Singh,
  • Jonathan Bernstein,
  • Marepalli Rao,
  • Karen Berendts,
  • Xiang Zhang,
  • Diya Mutasim
Umesh Singh
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
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Jonathan Bernstein
University of Cincinnati
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Marepalli Rao
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
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Karen Berendts
Bernstein Clinical Research Center
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Xiang Zhang
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
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Diya Mutasim
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
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Abstract

Background. Standard of care for chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) includes second-generation H1-antihistamines (SGAH) but is often ineffective even with four-times the FDA-recommended dose. Urticarial lesions are commonly characterized by increased lymphocytes with perivascular eosinophilic infiltrates implying a role for the interleukin-5 (IL5). Objective. This study investigated the effects of benralizumab, an anti-IL5-receptor-alpha monoclonal antibody, in human subjects with SGAH-unresponsive CSU that completed all study visits. Methods. A repeated-measures, 24-week study was conducted at an urticaria specialist clinic where SGAH-unresponsive CSU patients (3 males and 9 females; age range, 32-65 years) having a median weekly Urticaria Activity Score (UAS7) of 4 and pruritus severity ≥2 were enrolled. After a baseline run-in period, subjects were treated with a subcutaneous placebo dose followed by benralizumab 30mg subcutaneously every month (×3 doses) followed by two off-medication monthly-visits. The primary and exploratory endpoints were the change from baseline in UAS7 and Chronic Urticaria Quality-of-Life Score (CU-QoLTS) respectively. Secondary endpoints included peripheral blood eosinophils (eos%) and basophils, skin eosinophilia, and differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in blood before- and after benralizumab. Results. UAS7 and CU-QoLTS significantly improved post-benralizumab compared to baseline scores in 7 of 9 subjects completing the study. Clinical improvements correlated with reduction in eos% and inflammatory cell infiltrates in skin lesions. Biologic pathways, regulated by DEGs, involved IL-5R activity, tryptophan metabolism and Siglec-8 expression. Conclusion. Benralizumab was clinically efficacious in the treatment of subjects with SGAH-refractory CSU which correlated with several DEGs in blood. This study supports the use of benralizumab for CSU treatment.