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Biomedicines Webinar | Molecular Targets for Biological Therapies of Severe Asthma

Part of the MDPI Biomedicines Webinars series
21 Feb 2023, 10:00 (CET)

IgE, Cytokine Receptors, TSLP, Monoclonal Antibodies, Omalizumab, Mepolizumab, Reslizumab, Benralizumab, Dupilumab
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Welcome from the Chair

6th Biomedicines Webinar

Molecular Targets for Biological Therapies of Severe Asthma

The molecular targets of currently available biologic therapies include human immunoglobulins E (IgE), which play a pivotal pathogenic role in allergic asthma. The anti-IgE humanized monoclonal antibody omalizumab was the first drug to be introduced for the biological treatment of severe asthma. Other biologics target either proinflammatory cytokines (IL-5, IL-4, IL-13) or their receptors, which are crucially involved in the pathophysiology of type 2 severe asthma. Mepolizumab and reslizumab are anti-IL-5 humanized monoclonal antibodies. Benralizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody which selectively blocks the alpha subunit of the IL-5 receptor. Dupilumab is a fully human monoclonal antibody which specifically binds to the alpha subunit of the IL-4 receptor that is utilized by both IL-4 and IL-13, whose bioactivities are thus inhibited by dupilumab at the receptor level. Tezepelumab is a fully human monoclonal antibody which targets thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP), an innate cytokine included within the group of alarmins (TSLP, IL-25, IL-33). TSLP is involved in direct and indirect mechanisms responsible for activation of both Th2 lymphocytes and group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2).

On the basis of the above mentioned considerations, the aim of this webinar is to outline and discuss the network of cellular and molecular targets against which currently available biologics have been developed as add-on therapies for severe asthma. Therefore, I warmly welcome the outstanding speakers who kindly accepted our invitation.

Date: 21 February 2023

Time: 10:00 am CET | 4:00 am EST | 5:00 pm CST Asia

Webinar ID: 886 3554 3274

Webinar Secretariat:


Department of Health Sciences, “Magna Graecia” University of Catanzaro, Italy

Girolamo Pelaia works at “Magna Graecia” University of Catanzaro, Italy, where he is Full Professor of Pulmonary Medicine, Director of the Postgraduate Specialization School of Respiratory Diseases, and Head of the Respiratory Disease Unit. He was born on 15 August 1960 in Catanzaro, Italy. In 1985 he received a degree in Medicine and Surgery, with distinction (“summa cum laude”), from the University of Reggio Calabria, Italy, and in 1989 he graduated with distinction (“summa cum laude”) as a Specialist in Respiratory Diseases at the University of Naples “Federico II”, Italy. He subsequently worked from 1990 to 1992 as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, D.C., USA. The clinical and research activities of Professor Pelaia primarily deal with the pathophysiology and treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In particular, he is interested in the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the therapeutic effects of inhaled corticosteroids, long-acting bronchodilators, and anti-asthma biologic drugs. He has authored or co-authored more than 150 original articles and reviews published in international peer-reviewed journals, as well as several book chapters.

Invited Speakers

Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy,
Head Internal Medicine Department, Respiratory Unit and Cystic Fibrosis Center, Fondazione IRCCS Cà Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy

Francesco Blasi, MD, PhD, FERS is Professor of Respiratory Medicine Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation at the University of Milan, Italy, as well as Head of Internal Medicine Department and Respiratory Unit of the Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy. He is also director of the Cystic Fibrosis Center of the Lombardia Regional Referral CF Center and currently a member of the Board of Directors of the University of Milan. From 2012–2013, he was president of European Respiratory Society and from 2016–2017 president of the Italian Respiratory Society. From 2023 he is President of the Italian Society of Cystic Fibrosis. Professor Blasi has published more than 500 papers in international journals [h-index (January 2023) WEB of Science: 67; SCOPUS: 61]. His research interests include Asthma, pneumonia, COPD, bronchiectasis, tuberculosis and NTM infections, cystic fibrosis and lung transplantation.

Dept. Biomedical Sciences, Humanitas University, Milan, Italy

Enrico Heffler is the Director of the Postgraduate Residency Program for Allergology and Immunology; Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at Humanitas Research Hospital; Allergist and Clinical Immunologist, Assistant at Personalized Medicine, Asthma and Allergy Unit, Humanitas Research Hospital; Author of more than 200 scientific articles published in international peer-reviewed scientific journals. October 2003: Degree in Medicine and Surgery at University of Torino (Italy); December 2008: Post-graduate diploma in Allergy and Clinical Immunology, at University of Torino (Italy); February 2014: PhD in Medicine and Experimental Therapy (Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology); March 2015 – April 2017: Assistant Professor in Respiratory Medicine at University of Catania (Italy); May 2017 – February 2020: Assistant Professor in Respiratory Medicine at Humanitas University of Milan (Italy); March 2020 – today: Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at Humanitas University of Milan (Italy)

Webinar Content

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Time in CET

Prof. Dr. Girolamo Pelaia

Chair Introduction

10:00 - 10:10 am

Prof. Dr. Francesco Blasi

How Registries Can Improve Severe Asthma Management

10:10 - 10:30 am

Prof. Dr. Enrico Heffler

Biologicals for Severe Asthma and Its Comorbidities

10:30 - 10:50 am

Q&A Session

10:50 - 11:00 am

Closing of Webinar
Prof. Dr. Girolamo Pelaia

11:00 am

Relevant SI

Molecular Targets for Biological Therapies of Severe Asthma
Guest Editor: Prof. Dr. Girolamo Pelaia
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2022)

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