The U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded the approved use of Nucala (mepolizumab) to treat adult patients with eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA), a rare autoimmune disease that causes vasculitis, an inflammation in the wall of blood vessels of the body. This new indication provides the first FDA-approved therapy specifically to treat EGPA.
According to the National Institutes of Health, EGPA (formerly known as Churg-Strauss syndrome) is a condition characterized by asthma, high levels of eosinophils (a type of white blood cell that helps fight infection), and inflammation of small- to medium-sized blood vessels. It is estimated that about 0.11 to 2.66 new cases per 1 million people are diagnosed each year, with an overall prevalence of 10.7 to 14 per 1,000,000 adults, FDA says.
The FDA granted this application Priority Review and Orphan Drug designations. Orphan Drug designation provides incentives to assist and encourage the development of drugs for rare diseases.
Nucala is administered once every four weeks by subcutaneous injection by a health care professional into the upper arm, thigh, or abdomen.