Data from FDA - Curated by Toby Galbraith - Last updated 15 May 2017

Licensing authority

FDA (Food and Drug Administration, USA)


1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE NUCALA® is indicated for the add-on maintenance treatment of patients with severe asthma aged 12 years and older, and with an eosinophilic phenotype. [See Clinical Studies (14).] Limitations of Use •NUCALA is not indicated for treatment of other eosinophilic conditions. •NUCALA is not indicated for the relief of acute bronchospasm or status asthmaticus. NUCALA is an interleukin-5 antagonist monoclonal antibody (IgG1 kappa) indicated for add-on maintenance treatment of patients with severe asthma aged 12 years and older, and with an eosinophilic phenotype. (1) Limitations of Use: •Not for treatment of other eosinophilic conditions. (1) •Not for relief of acute bronchospasm or status asthmaticus. (1)

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Advisory information

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS NUCALA should not be administered to patients with a history of hypersensitivity to mepolizumab or excipients in the formulation. History of hypersensitivity to mepolizumab or excipients in the formulation. (4)
Adverse reactions
6 ADVERSE REACTIONS The following adverse reactions are described in greater detail in other sections: •Hypersensitivity reactions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)] •Opportunistic infections: herpes zoster [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)] Most common adverse reactions (incidence greater than or equal to 5%) include headache, injection site reaction, back pain, and fatigue. (6.1) To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact GlaxoSmithKline at 1-888-825-5249 or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or 6.1 Clinical Trials Experience Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared with rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice. A total of 1,327 subjects with asthma were evaluated in 3 randomized, placebo-controlled, multicenter trials of 24 to 52 weeks’ duration (Trials 1, 2, and 3). Of these, 1,192 had a history of 2 or more exacerbations in the year prior to enrollment despite regular use of high-dose inhaled corticosteroids plus an additional controller(s) (Trials 1 and 2), and 135 subjects required daily oral corticosteroids in addition to regular use of high-dose inhaled corticosteroids plus an additional controller(s) to maintain asthma control (Trial 3). All subjects had markers of eosinophilic airway inflammation [see Clinical Studies (14)]. Of the subjects enrolled, 59% were female, 85% were white, and subjects ranged in age from 12 to 82 years. Mepolizumab was administered subcutaneously or intravenously once every 4 weeks; 263 subjects received NUCALA (mepolizumab 100 mg subcutaneous [SC]) for at least 24 weeks. Serious adverse events that occurred in more than 1 subject and in a greater percentage of subjects treated with NUCALA (n = 263) than placebo (n = 257) included 1 event, herpes zoster (2 subjects vs. 0 subjects, respectively). Approximately 2% of subjects receiving NUCALA withdrew from clinical trials due to adverse events compared with 3% of subjects receiving placebo. The incidence of adverse reactions in the first 24 weeks of treatment in the 2 confirmatory efficacy and safety trials (Trials 2 and 3) with NUCALA is shown in Table 1. Table 1. Adverse Reactions with NUCALA with Greater than or Equal to 3% Incidence and More Common than Placebo in Subjects with Asthma (Trials 2 and 3) Adverse Reaction NUCALA (Mepolizumab 100 mg Subcutaneous) (n = 263) % Placebo (n = 257) % Headache 19 18 Injection site reaction 8 3 Back pain 5 4 Fatigue 5 4 Influenza 3 2 Urinary tract infection 3 2 Abdominal pain upper 3 2 Pruritus 3 2 Eczema 3 <1 Muscle spasms 3 <1 52-Week Trial Adverse reactions from Trial 1 with 52 weeks of treatment with mepolizumab 75 mg intravenous (IV) (n = 153) or placebo (n = 155) and with greater than or equal to 3% incidence and more common than placebo and not shown in Table 1 were: abdominal pain, allergic rhinitis, asthenia, bronchitis, cystitis, dizziness, dyspnea, ear infection, gastroenteritis, lower respiratory tract infection, musculoskeletal pain, nasal congestion, nasopharyngitis, nausea, pharyngitis, pyrexia, rash, toothache, viral infection, viral respiratory tract infection, and vomiting. In addition, 3 cases of herpes zoster occurred in subjects treated with mepolizumab 75 mg IV, compared with 2 subjects in the placebo group. Systemic Reactions, including Hypersensitivity Reactions In Trials 1, 2, and 3 described above, the percentage of subjects who experienced systemic (allergic and non-allergic) reactions was 5% in the placebo group and 3% in the group receiving NUCALA. Systemic allergic/hypersensitivity reactions were reported by 2% of subjects in the placebo group and 1% of subjects in the group receiving NUCALA. The most commonly reported manifestations of systemic allergic/hypersensitivity reactions reported in the group receiving NUCALA included rash, pruritus, headache, and myalgia. Systemic non-allergic reactions were reported by 2% of subjects in the group receiving NUCALA and 3% of subjects in the placebo group. The most commonly reported manifestations of systemic non-allergic reactions reported in the group receiving NUCALA included rash, flushing, and myalgia. A majority of the systemic reactions in subjects receiving NUCALA (5/7) were experienced on the day of dosing. Injection Site Reactions Injection site reactions (e.g., pain, erythema, swelling, itching, burning sensation) occurred at a rate of 8% in subjects treated with NUCALA compared with 3% in subjects treated with placebo. Long-term Safety Nine hundred ninety-eight (998) subjects have received NUCALA in ongoing open-label extension studies, during which additional cases of herpes zoster have been reported. The overall adverse event profile was similar to the asthma trials described above. 6.2 Immunogenicity Overall, 15/260 (6%) of subjects treated with NUCALA developed anti-mepolizumab antibodies. The reported frequency may underestimate the actual frequency due to lower assay sensitivity in the presence of high drug concentration. Neutralizing antibodies were detected in 1 subject receiving mepolizumab. Anti-mepolizumab antibodies slightly increased (approximately 20%) the clearance of mepolizumab. There was no evidence of a correlation between anti-mepolizumab antibody titers and change in eosinophil level. The clinical relevance of the presence of anti-mepolizumab antibodies is not known. The data reflect the percentage of patients whose test results were positive for antibodies to mepolizumab in specific assays. The observed incidence of antibody positivity in an assay is highly dependent on several factors, including assay sensitivity and specificity, assay methodology, sample handling, timing of sample collection, concomitant medications, and underlying disease. 6.3 Postmarketing Experience In addition to adverse reactions reported from clinical trials, the following adverse reactions have been identified during postapproval use of NUCALA. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure. These events have been chosen for inclusion due to either their seriousness, frequency of reporting, or causal connection to NUCALA or a combination of these factors. Immune System Disorders Hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylaxis.

Usage information

Dosing and administration
2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION 100 mg administered subcutaneously once every 4 weeks. (2) •See Full Prescribing Information for instructions on reconstitution of lyophilized powder, and preparation and administration of the injection. 2.1 Recommended Dosage NUCALA is for subcutaneous use only. The recommended dose of NUCALA is 100 mg administered once every 4 weeks by subcutaneous injection into the upper arm, thigh, or abdomen. 2.2 Preparation and Administration NUCALA should be reconstituted and administered by a healthcare professional. In line with clinical practice, monitoring of patients after administration of biologic agents is recommended [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]. Reconstitution Instructions 1.Reconstitute NUCALA in the vial with 1.2 mL Sterile Water for Injection, USP, preferably using a 2- or 3-mL syringe and a 21-gauge needle. The reconstituted solution will contain a concentration of 100 mg/mL mepolizumab. Do not mix with other medications. 2.Direct the stream of Sterile Water for Injection vertically onto the center of the lyophilized cake. Gently swirl the vial for 10 seconds with a circular motion at 15-second intervals until the powder is dissolved. Note: Do not shake the reconstituted solution during the procedure as this may lead to product foaming or precipitation. Reconstitution is typically complete within 5 minutes after the Sterile Water for Injection has been added, but it may take additional time. 3.If a mechanical reconstitution device (swirler) is used to reconstitute NUCALA, swirl at 450 rpm for no longer than 10 minutes. Alternatively, swirling at 1,000 rpm for no longer than 5 minutes is acceptable. 4.Visually inspect the reconstituted solution for particulate matter and clarity before use. The solution should be clear to opalescent and colorless to pale yellow or pale brown, essentially particle free. Small air bubbles, however, are expected and acceptable. If particulate matter remains in the solution or if the solution appears cloudy or milky, the solution must not be administered. 5.If the reconstituted solution is not used immediately: •store below 30°C (86°F), •do not freeze, and •discard if not used within 8 hours of reconstitution. Administration 1.For subcutaneous administration, preferably using a 1-mL polypropylene syringe fitted with a disposable 21- to 27-gauge x 0.5-inch (13-mm) needle. 2.Just before administration, remove 1 mL of reconstituted NUCALA. Do not shake the reconstituted solution during the procedure as this could lead to product foaming or precipitation. 3.Administer the 1-mL injection (equivalent to 100 mg mepolizumab) subcutaneously into the upper arm, thigh, or abdomen.
Use in special populations
8 USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS 8.1 Pregnancy Pregnancy Exposure Registry There is a pregnancy exposure registry that monitors pregnancy outcomes in women exposed to NUCALA during pregnancy. Healthcare providers can enroll patients or encourage patients to enroll themselves by calling 1-877-311-8972 or visiting Risk Summary The data on pregnancy exposure from the clinical trials are insufficient to inform on drug-associated risk. Monoclonal antibodies, such as mepolizumab, are transported across the placenta in a linear fashion as pregnancy progresses; therefore, potential effects on a fetus are likely to be greater during the second and third trimester of pregnancy. In a prenatal and postnatal development study conducted in cynomolgus monkeys, there was no evidence of fetal harm with IV administration of mepolizumab throughout pregnancy at doses that produced exposures up to approximately 30 times the exposure at the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of 100 mg SC [see Data]. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2% to 4% and 15% to 20%, respectively. Clinical Considerations Disease-Associated Maternal and/or Embryofetal Risk: In women with poorly or moderately controlled asthma, evidence demonstrates that there is an increased risk of preeclampsia in the mother and prematurity, low birth weight, and small for gestational age in the neonate. The level of asthma control should be closely monitored in pregnant women and treatment adjusted as necessary to maintain optimal control. Data Animal Data: In a prenatal and postnatal development study, pregnant cynomolgus monkeys received mepolizumab from gestation days 20 to 140 at doses that produced exposures up to approximately 30 times that achieved with the MRHD (on an AUC basis with maternal IV doses up to 100 mg/kg once every 4 weeks). Mepolizumab did not elicit adverse effects on fetal or neonatal growth (including immune function) up to 9 months after birth. Examinations for internal or skeletal malformations were not performed. Mepolizumab crossed the placenta in cynomolgus monkeys. Concentrations of mepolizumab were approximately 2.4 times higher in infants than in mothers up to day 178 postpartum. Levels of mepolizumab in milk were less than or equal to 0.5% of maternal serum concentration. In a fertility, early embryonic, and embryofetal development study, pregnant CD-1 mice received an analogous antibody, which inhibits the activity of murine IL-5, at an IV dose of 50 mg/kg once per week throughout gestation. The analogous antibody was not teratogenic in mice. Embryofetal development of IL-5–deficient mice has been reported to be generally unaffected relative to wild-type mice. 8.2 Lactation Risk Summary There is no information regarding the presence of mepolizumab in human milk, the effects on the breastfed infant, or the effects on milk production. However, mepolizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody (IgG1 kappa), and immunoglobulin G (IgG) is present in human milk in small amounts. Mepolizumab was present in the milk of cynomolgus monkeys postpartum following dosing during pregnancy [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)]. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for NUCALA and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from mepolizumab or from the underlying maternal condition. 8.4 Pediatric Use The safety and efficacy in pediatric patients younger than 12 years have not been established. A total of 28 adolescents aged 12 to 17 years with asthma were enrolled in the phase 3 studies. Of these, 25 were enrolled in the 32-week exacerbation trial (Trial 2) and had a mean age of 14.8 years. Subjects had a history of 2 or more exacerbations in the previous year despite regular use of high-dose inhaled corticosteroids plus an additional controller(s) with or without oral corticosteroids and had blood eosinophils of greater than or equal to 150 cells/mcL at screening or greater than or equal to 300 cells/mcL within 12 months prior to enrollment. [See Clinical Studies (14).] Subjects had a reduction in the rate of exacerbations that trended in favor of mepolizumab. Of the 19 adolescents who received mepolizumab, 9 received NUCALA and the mean apparent clearance in these subjects was 35% less than that of adults. The adverse event profile in adolescents was generally similar to the overall population in the phase 3 studies [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)]. 8.5 Geriatric Use Clinical trials of NUCALA did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 years and older that received NUCALA (n = 38) to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy. Based on available data, no adjustment of the dosage of NUCALA in geriatric patients is necessary, but greater sensitivity in some older individuals cannot be ruled out.


7 DRUG INTERACTIONS Formal drug interaction trials have not been performed with NUCALA.

More information

Category Value
Authorisation number BLA125526
Agency product number 90Z2UF0E52
Orphan designation No
Product NDC 0173-0881
Date Last Revised 16-02-2017
Marketing authorisation holder GlaxoSmithKline LLC