MedPage Today is reporting mixed results for mepolizumab (Nucala) as an add-on treatment for patients with eosinophilic phenotype COPD, according to results from two phase III studies released by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

The trials were designed to examine whether adding the biologic therapy to optimal standard-of-care treatment would decrease the frequency of moderate to severe exacerbations in this high-risk COPD group. The drug, an interleukin-5 inhibitor, is currently approved as add-on therapy for severe asthma.

In one study, 674 patients were randomized to mepolizumab at either 100 mg or 300 mg doses, or placebo. Patients had adjusted reductions in the frequency of exacerbations at both doses of the biologic versus placebo (20% for 100 mg and 14% for 300 mg), but these failed to reach statistical significance.