New Treatment Shows Promise for Low-Income Kids Disproportionately Affected by Asthma

The findings of an NIH-funded clinical trial from Childhood Asthma in Urban Settings (CAUSE) were published last week in the journal The Lancet. BRI’s Matthew Altman, MD, MPhil, who conducts asthma research at BRI and treats asthma patients at UW Medicine, is senior author of the study. The study found that a monoclonal antibody called mepolizumab decreased asthma attacks by 27% in Black and Hispanic children and adolescents with severe asthma who live in low-income urban neighborhoods.

Dr. Altman and colleagues employed an exploratory analysis of gene activity in cells collected from the children’s nasal passages. They found that mepolizumab worked to reduce activity in three networks of genes associated with asthma attacks in the young study participants. Previous studies found the therapy effective in adults, but it had not been adequately tested in children.

Of the study’s 290 low-income urban participants, ages 6-17, Dr. Altman said “It’s essential to focus on these children because they are more likely to have the disease, more likely to end up in the emergency room, and more likely to die because of asthma — and they are often underrepresented in clinical trials.”

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BRI researchers receive six awards totaling more than $17.1 M in Q1 2022 

BRI announced new research grants, including a $11.4 million-dollar U19 grant to study respiratory viral infections in vulnerable populations and a competitive $3.9M Research Project Grant (R01), both funded by the NIH. With the inclusion of 4 additional grants awarded to BRI in Q1 2022, these new awards total more than $17.1 million dollars. More