GSK asthma drug Nucala's long-term study supports safety profile

The GlaxoSmithKline logo is seen at the entrance of a building in Luxembourg, September 10, 2013. Picture taken September 10, 2013 REUTERS/Yves Herman

(Reuters) - GlaxoSmithKline Plc said on Saturday its asthma drug, Nucala, which is already approved in the United States and Europe, showed a similar safety profile in a long-term study compared with previous studies.

GSK said Nucala, which is administered once every four weeks by injection, maintained its risk/benefit profile over an extended 52-week period.

The drug is an antibody that reduces the levels of eosinophils - a type of white blood cells - that contributes to asthma.

The over-production of eosinophils can cause inflammation in the lungs, increasing the frequency of asthma attacks.

GSK’s global medical affairs lead for Nucala, Frank Albers, said results from the study supported the long-term safety profile and durability of response for the drug.

The data was presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Nucala, known also as mepolizumab, was approved in November by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in combination with other therapies for patients 12 and older who have a history of severe asthma attacks.

Nucala is also being tested for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a respiratory disorder often associated with smoking.

Reporting By Mamidipudi Soumithri in Bengaluru; Editing by Ankur Banerjee