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How Nucala works

Nucala targets IL-5 and is indicated as an add-on treatment for adult, adolescent and paediatric patients (aged 6 or above) with severe refractory eosinophilic asthma. 1 Nucala is the only anti-IL-5 indicated for severe refractory eosinophilic asthma to demonstrate lasting reduction in exacerbations and OCS dose for up to 4.5 years*. 2 3 4 5 6

IL-5 is the major cytokine responsible for the growth, differentiation, recruitment, activation and survival of eosinophils. 7

Reduction in blood eosinophils

In severe asthma too many eosinophils may lead to: 8 9

  • More severe asthma symptoms
  • Increased risk of exacerbations

Eosinophils play a role in maintaining health by helping to: 7 10

  • Regulate the immune system
  • Defend the body from pathogens

Nucala is the only anti-IL-5 to demonstrate sustained reduction in blood eosinophils, without complete depletion, for up to 4.5 years. 4

The Evolution of Eosinophils

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Nucala Mechanism of Action

IL, interleukin, OCS, oral corticosteroids

Nucala is generally well tolerated. Very commonly or commonly reported adverse reactions in clinical trials included: headache; back pain; local injection site reactions; systemic administration-related and hypersensitivity reactions (which can occur after a long duration of treatment); LRTI; UTI; pharyngitis; nasal congestion; upper abdominal pain; eczema and pyrexia. 1

*Range: 4 weeks to 4.5 years


  1. Nucala SmPC 2020, accessed August 2020. Available at
  2. Khurana S, et al. Clin Ther. 2019; 41(10):2041-2056.
  3. Ortega HG et al. N Engl J Med 2014; 371:1198–1207.
  4. Khatri et al. 2019; J Allergy Clin Immunol; 143 (5):1742-1751
  5. Chupp GL et al. Lancet Respir Med 2017; 5:390–400
  6. Bel EH et al. N Engl J Med 2014; 371:1189-1197.
  7. Weller PF, Spencer LA. Nat Rev Immunol 2017; 17:746-760.
  8. Price D et al. J Asthma Allergy 2016; 9:1-12.
  9. Garcia G et al. Eur Respir Rev 2013; 22:251-257.
  10. Wen T, Rothenburg ME. Microbiol Spectr 2016; doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.MCHD-0020-2015.

Adverse events should be reported to the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) using an Adverse Reaction Report Form obtained either from the HPRA or electronically via the website at Adverse events should also be reported to GlaxoSmithKline on 1800 244 255.