The identification of sputum eosinophilia indicating corticosteroid responsiveness in subjects with severe asthma heralded the beginning of phenotyping asthmatic subjects based on airways inflammation. Since then, the heterogeneity of severe asthma has been explored and the importance of immunobiology has come sharply into focus with the identification of the key type-2 cytokine pathways driving eosinophilic inflammation. The development of molecules targeting these type-2 pathways has transformed severe asthma treatment, but necessitates robust clinical evaluation, biomarker profiling and assessment of comorbid factors to identify subjects most likely to benefit from these therapies. It has also become clear that targeting these pathways does not eradicate asthma symptoms and exacerbation risk; further work is needed to clarify underlying non-type-2 mechanisms in severe asthma pathways and possible therapeutic targets. This review addresses progress to date in clinical assessment and management of severe asthma and some of the challenges and unmet needs in severe asthma to achieve the goal of delivering individualized patient care.