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A pre-specified meta-analysis of individual patient data from the 52-week METREX and METREO trials, which investigated mepolizumab for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in patients with blood eosinophil counts ≥150 cells/µL (screening) or ≥300 cells/µL (prior year) and frequent exacerbations, enables more robust characterization of mepolizumab efficacy in COPD and exploration of the relationship between blood eosinophil count and treatment responses. In METREX (117106/NCT02105948) and METREO (117113/NCT02105961), randomized patients received mepolizumab or placebo added to existing inhaled corticosteroid (ICS)-based triple maintenance therapy. The annual rate of moderate/severe exacerbations (primary endpoint) was compared between subcutaneous (SC) mepolizumab 100 mg versus placebo (primary comparison of interest) and all doses (100 mg and 300 mg SC) versus placebo in patients with blood eosinophil counts ≥150 cells/µL at screening or ≥300 cells/µL in the prior year. Secondary/other endpoints included time to first moderate/severe exacerbation, exacerbations leading to emergency department visit/hospitalization and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). A predictive model of the relationship between screening blood eosinophil counts and exacerbation rates included data from all randomized patients. In total, 1510 patients were randomized in METREX and METREO and 1136 patients were included in the pre-specified meta-analysis. From the meta-analysis, mepolizumab 100 mg SC significantly reduced annual moderate/severe exacerbation rates versus placebo by 18% (rate ratio: 0.82; 95% confidence interval: 0.71, 0.95; p=0.006) and delayed time to first moderate/severe exacerbation (hazard ratio: 0.80 [0.68, 0.94]; p=0.006). Mepolizumab 100 mg SC versus placebo numerically reduced exacerbations leading to ED visits/hospitalization and improved HRQoL. A modelling approach demonstrated increasing efficacy for moderate/severe exacerbations with increasing screening blood eosinophil count; this relationship was more pronounced for exacerbations requiring oral corticosteroids (post hoc). The all-doses comparison had similar results. Mepolizumab reduces exacerbations in patients with eosinophil-associated COPD. Results suggest that blood eosinophil counts (≥150 cells/µL at screening or ≥300 cells/µL in the prior year) allow for identification of patients with COPD who experience exacerbations while treated with maximal ICS-based triple maintenance therapy who are likely to benefit from mepolizumab. © 2021 Pavord et al.


Ian D Pavord, Kenneth R Chapman, Mona Bafadhel, Frank C Sciurba, Eric S Bradford, Stephanie Schweiker Harris, Bhabita Mayer, David B Rubin, Steven W Yancey, Pierluigi Paggiaro. Mepolizumab for Eosinophil-Associated COPD: Analysis of METREX and METREO. International journal of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. 2021;16:1755-1770

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PMID: 34163157

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