Speaker: Del Dorscheid, MD, PhD, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC
Moderator: Louis-Phillipe Boulet, MD, FRCPC, Laval University, Quebec, QC

Asthma is a common illness. Initial therapeutics were based upon an understanding that the airway inflammation was “allergic” in nature. Inhaled corticosteroids became the mainstay therapy in the 1990’s, reducing both morbidity and mortality. However, the prevalence and severity of asthma continues to increase and now affects about 10% of the population, with more having uncontrolled and/or severe disease. Guidelines now include pathways for “dual” and triple” therapies however not always resolving the symptoms for the severe asthmatic. The newest class of medications to treat asthma are the “biologics”. In general, these therapeutic monoclonal antibodies can bind IgE, IL-5, IL-5 receptor and the IL-4/13 receptor in effect to inhibit allergic, eosinophillic and Type 2 inflammatory processes. Not all of these biologics will work for all asthmatics. It is important to understand the inflammatory and clinical phenotype of our patients to pick the right drug for the right patient – precision medicine.

Learning Objectives
At the end of this presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • Review biologic therapies for severe asthma, including key efficacy and safety data from clinical trial programs and/or real-world evidence studies;
  • Understand how appropriate biomarkers and clinical features of disease can inform clinical decision making for biologic therapies; and
  • Discuss how comorbid T2 disease and safety considerations can affect the choice of biologic therapy for patients with severe asthma.

CanMEDS Roles Addressed: Medical Expert, Professional, Scholar

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This session is co-developed by the Canadian Thoracic Society and GSK and is planned to achieve scientific integrity, objectivity and balance.