The management of pediatric patients with asthma continues to be a major health issue. For many patients, traditional therapies have been very effective, but for a large number of patients asthma remains poorly controlled. This leads to significant morbidity and impairment to quality of life. Recently, several new biologics, as well as new dosage forms of combination inhaled drugs, have been made available for use adding to the armamentarium of therapy for specific asthma phenotypes.
Biologics have shown promise in the more difficult to manage asthma patient. Approved in children, omalizumab, an anti–immunoglobulin E (anti-IgE) antibody, has been available for several years. New agents, like mepolizumab and benralizumab, directed against interleukin (IL) 5, have indications for children >6 and >12 years of age, respectively. Dupilumab, an IL-4– and IL-13–directed antibody, has been studied as well in eosinophilic asthma, with positive results. A thorough understanding of the clinical data of these agents is key, as they may greatly improve the quality of life in children with difficult-to-manage asthma.