Current advances in the knowledge of asthma pathobiology suggest that anti-cytokine therapies may be potentially useful for the treatment of this complex and heterogeneous airway disease. In particular, given the key role played by interleukin-13 (IL-13) in the pathogenesis of the most typical features of asthma, such as chronic airway inflammation, tissue remodeling and bronchial hyperresponsiveness, this pleiotropic cytokine is now considered as a suitable therapeutic target. Among the recently developed anti-IL-13 biological drugs, lebrikizumab is the most extensively studied monoclonal antibody. A few controlled clinical trials have shown that lebrikizumab can improve respiratory function in asthmatic patients marked by the phenotypic signature of a "Th2-high" immune/inflammatory pattern. Lebrikizumab is well tolerated and is also characterized by a favorable safety profile. However, further larger and longer studies are needed to confirm these promising preliminary data and to assess the long-term effects of lebrikizumab on asthma exacerbations, the prevention of which probably represents the most important goal of treatments aimed to alleviate severe, uncontrolled asthma. Copyright © 2014 Prous Science, S.A.U. or its licensors.
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