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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Mepolizumab versus placebo for asthma

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, July 2015
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (81st percentile)
  • Above-average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (55th percentile)

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14 tweeters
1 Facebook page


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Readers on

110 Mendeley
Mepolizumab versus placebo for asthma
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, July 2015
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd010834.pub2
Pubmed ID

Powell, Colin, Milan, Stephen J, Dwan, Kerry, Bax, Lynne, Walters, Nicola


Mepolizumab is a human monoclonal antibody against interleukin-5 (IL-5), the main cytokine involved in the activation of eosinophils, which in turn causes airway inflammation. Recent studies have suggested these agents may have a role in reducing exacerbations and improving health-related quality of life (HRQoL). There are no recommendations for the use of mepolizumab in adults or children in the recent update of the BTS/SIGN guidelines (BTS/SIGN 2014). To compare the effects of mepolizumab with placebo on exacerbations and HRQoL in adults and children with chronic asthma. We searched the Cochrane Airways Group Register (CAGR) of trials, clinical trial registries, manufacturers' websites and the reference lists of included studies. Searches were conducted in November 2013 and updated in November 2014. We included randomised controlled trials comparing mepolizumab versus placebo in adults and children with asthma. Two authors independently extracted data and analysed outcomes using a random-effects model. We used standard methods expected by The Cochrane Collaboration. Eight studies on 1707 participants met the inclusion criteria. Only two studies included children (over 12 years of age), but they did not report separate findings for the adolescents. Seven studies involved intravenous mepolizumab alone; one included a subcutaneous arm. There was heterogeneity in the severity and clinical pattern of asthma among the participants in the eight studies, varying from mild to moderate atopic asthma, to persistent asthma and eosinophilic asthma with recurrent exacerbations. Selection bias was a concern in several of the studies included in this review.Four trials compared intravenous mepolizumab to placebo in relation to HRQoL. Two studies measured scores from the Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (AQLQ), which showed a non-significant difference between mepolizumab and placebo (mean difference (MD) 0.21, 95% confidence interval (CI) - 0.01 to 0.44; participants = 682), in the direction favouring mepolizumab. The third study used the St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) and found a significant difference between mepolizumab and placebo (MD 6.40, 95% CI 3.15 to 9.65; participants = 576), which indicated a clinically important benefit favouring mepolizumab. A fourth study noted that there was no significant difference but did not provide any data. The two studies in people with eosinophilic asthma showed a reduction in clinically significant exacerbation rates (Risk Ratio 0.52, 95% CI 0.43 to 0.64; participants = 690). However, an analysis of four studies that were not confined to people with eosinophilic asthma indicated considerable heterogeneity and no significant difference in people with one or more exacerbations between mepolizumab and placebo using a random-effects model (Risk Ratio 0.67, 95% CI 0.34 to 1.31; participants = 468; I(2) = 59%).The analysis of serious adverse events indicated a significant difference favouring mepolizumab (Risk ratio 0.49, 95% CI 0.30 to 0.80; participants = 1441; studies = 5; I(2) = 0%). It was not possible to combine the results for adverse events, and we deemed the quality of this evidence to be low.A single study compared subcutaneous mepolizumab to placebo in 385 adults with severe eosinophilic asthma and found an improvement in HRQoL scores and a reduction in asthma exacerbations, including exacerbations requiring admission to hospital. It is not possible to draw firm conclusions from this review with respect to the role of mepolizumab in patients with asthma. Our confidence in the results of this review are limited by the fact that the intravenous route is not currently licensed for mepolizumab, and the evidence for the currently licenced subcutaneous route is limited to a single study in participants with severe eosinophilic asthma.The currently available studies provide evidence that mepolizumab can lead to an improvement in health-related quality of life scores and reduce asthma exacerbations in people with severe eosinophilic asthma.Further research is needed to clarify which subgroups of patients with asthma could potentially benefit from this treatment. Dosage, ideal dosing regimens and duration of treatment need to be clarified, as the studies included in this review differed in their protocols. There are no studies reporting results from children, so we cannot comment on treatment for this age group. At the present time, larger studies using licenced treatment regimens are required to establish the role of mepolizumab in the treatment of severe asthma.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 14 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 110 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 110 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 18 16%
Other 17 15%
Student > Ph. D. Student 14 13%
Researcher 12 11%
Student > Bachelor 8 7%
Other 20 18%
Unknown 21 19%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 49 45%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 9 8%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 5 5%
Nursing and Health Professions 5 5%
Psychology 4 4%
Other 12 11%
Unknown 26 24%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 8. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 10 February 2016.
All research outputs
of 12,101,174 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 7,978 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 237,119 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 196 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 12,101,174 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 85th percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 7,978 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 14.6. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 56% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 237,119 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 81% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 196 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 55% of its contemporaries.