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1.  Patients on subcutaneous allergen immunotherapy are at risk of intramuscular injections 
Allergen-specific subcutaneous immunotherapy is an effective treatment for certain allergic disorders. Ideally, it should be administered into the subcutaneous space in the mid-posterolateral upper arm. Injections are commonly given using a standard allergy syringe with a needle length of 13 mm. Therefore, there is a risk of intramuscular administration if patients have a skin-to-muscle depth <13 mm, which may increase the risk of anaphylaxis. The objective of this study was to determine whether the needle length of a standard allergy syringe is appropriate for patients receiving subcutaneous immunotherapy.
Ultrasounds of the left posterolateral arm were performed to measure skin-to-muscle depth in 200 adults receiving subcutaneous immunotherapy. The proportion of patients with a skin-to-muscle depth >13 mm vs. ≤13 mm was assessed and baseline characteristics of the two groups were compared. The proportion of patients with skin-to-muscle depths > 4 mm, 6 mm, 8 mm and 10 mm were also calculated. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to identify predictors of skin-to-muscle depth.
Of the 200 patients included in the study, 80% had a skin-to-muscle depth ≤13 mm; the majority (91%) had a skin-to-muscle depth >4 mm. Body mass index was found to be a significant predictor of skin-to-muscle-depth.
Most patients receiving subcutaneous immunotherapy have a skin-to-muscle depth less than the needle length of a standard allergy syringe (13 mm). These patients are at risk of receiving injections intramuscularly, which may increase the risk of anaphylaxis. Using a syringe with a needle length of 4 mm given at a 45° angle to the skin may decrease this risk.
PMCID: PMC4017082  PMID: 24822074
Allergen-specific immunotherapy; Subcutaneous immunotherapy; Ultrasound; Skin-to-muscle depth; Needle length; Allergy syringe; Injections
2.  Pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and safety of QGE031 (ligelizumab), a novel high-affinity anti-IgE antibody, in atopic subjects 
Clinical and Experimental Allergy  2014;44(11):1371-1385.
Using a monoclonal antibody with greater affinity for IgE than omalizumab, we examined whether more complete suppression of IgE provided greater pharmacodynamic effects, including suppression of skin prick responses to allergen.
To explore the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and safety of QGE031 (ligelizumab), a novel high-affinity humanized monoclonal IgG1κ anti-IgE.
Preclinical assessments and two randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trials were conducted in atopic subjects. The first trial administered single doses of QGE031 (0.1–10 mg/kg) or placebo intravenously, while the second trial administered two to four doses of QGE031 (0.2– 4 mg/kg) or placebo subcutaneously at 2-week intervals. Both trials included an open-label omalizumab arm.
Sixty of 73 (82%) and 96 of 110 (87%) subjects completed the intravenous and subcutaneous studies, respectively. Exposure to QGE031 and its half-life depended on the QGE031 dose and serum IgE level. QGE031 had a biexponential pharmacokinetic profile after intravenous administration and a terminal half-life of approximately 20 days. QGE031 demonstrated dose- and time-dependent suppression of free IgE, basophil FcεRI and basophil surface IgE superior in extent (free IgE and surface IgE) and duration to omalizumab. At Day 85, 6 weeks after the last dose, skin prick wheal responses to allergen were suppressed by > 95% and 41% in subjects treated subcutaneously with QGE031 (2 mg/kg) or omalizumab, respectively (P < 0.001). Urticaria was observed in QGE031- and placebo-treated subjects and was accompanied by systemic symptoms in one subject treated with 10 mg/kg intravenous QGE031. There were no serious adverse events.
Conclusion and Clinical Relevance
These first clinical data for QGE031, a high-affinity IgG1κ anti-IgE, demonstrate that increased suppression of free IgE compared with omalizumab translated to superior pharmacodynamic effects in atopic subjects, including those with high IgE levels. QGE031 may therefore benefit patients unable to receive, or suboptimally treated with, omalizumab.
PMCID: PMC4278557  PMID: 25200415
allergic; antibody; anti-IgE; atopic; IgE; ligelizumab; monoclonal; QGE031
3.  Population-Based Efficacy Modeling of Omalizumab in Patients with Severe Allergic Asthma Inadequately Controlled with Standard Therapy 
The AAPS Journal  2013;15(2):559-570.
Omalizumab, a recombinant humanized monoclonal antibody, is the first approved anti-immunoglobulin E (IgE) agent for the treatment of subjects with moderate to severe persistent allergic asthma that are inadequately controlled by the standard of care. The objective of this study was to quantitatively characterize relationships between serum free IgE and pulmonary function (as measured by forced expiratory volume in 1 s [FEV1]) as well as serum free IgE and airway inflammation (as measured by fractional exhaled nitric oxide [FeNO]) using population-based efficacy models. Data were collected from patients in the EXTRA trial who received omalizumab or placebo 150 to 375 mg subcutaneously every 2 or 4 weeks from week 0 to 48 with constant standard of care as background therapy. None of the covariates evaluated, including demographics, disease status, and baseline pharmacodynamic biomarkers, were significant in explaining the variability in the FEV1 or FeNO response to omalizumab. Results from the efficacy models further confirmed the current omalizumab dosing rationale based on the mean target free IgE level of 25 ng/ml and quantified the variability for the target. In addition, the resulting population models could be used to predict population FEV1 or FeNO response for omalizumab and/or other anti-IgE therapeutics for which PK-IgE models are constructed.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1208/s12248-013-9463-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3675747  PMID: 23413101
asthma; FEV1; IgE; omalizumab; population modeling
4.  The role of omalizumab in the treatment of severe allergic asthma 
A novel anti-immunoglobulin E (anti-IgE) therapy for asthma, omalizumab, has been approved for use in Canada.
To review the basic and clinical data for omalizumab, and to examine its possible role for asthma management in Canada.
A literature search from 1960 to 2006 was conducted in MEDLINE to identify studies of omalizumab. In addition, abstracts from recent respiratory and allergy scientific meetings were sought, and any unpublished data were requested from the manufacturer. A consensus panel of respiratory and allergy specialists reviewed and summarized the data, and derived a set of recommendations for omalizumab use.
Omalizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody designed to bind to the C epsilon 3 domain of the IgE molecule, forming soluble immune complexes that are cleared by the reticuloendothelial system. Subcutaneous injections, given at two- or fourweek intervals at the recommended dose, result in a rapid decrease in free circulating IgE levels. In two phase III clinical trials of 1405 adult and adolescent patients with moderate to severe asthma maintained on moderate doses of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS), omalizumab reduced exacerbation rates compared with placebo, and was associated with improved symptoms and a greater corticosteroid-sparing effect. In a trial of 419 patients with severe disease that was uncontrolled despite the use of high-dose ICS and concurrent long-acting beta2-agonists, severe exacerbations were 50% less frequent in omalizumab-treated patients than in control subjects. Retrospective analyses have identified the characteristics of patients most likely to respond to omalizumab treatment.
Omalizumab may be considered as a potential adjunctive therapy in atopic patients with severe asthma uncontrolled by conventional therapy with optimal doses of ICS and appropriate adjunctive therapy (eg, long-acting beta2-agonists). Typically, patients are identified by the need for frequent short course or continuous oral corticosteroids. Therapy should be initiated only after review by a specialist to confirm the diagnosis and that conventional therapy is optimal.
PMCID: PMC2806789  PMID: 16909166
Asthma severity; Atopy; IgE; Monoclonal antibodies
5.  Efficacy and Safety of Omalizumab in Patients with Chronic Idiopathic/Spontaneous Urticaria Who Remain Symptomatic on H1 Antihistamines: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study 
ASTERIA I was a 40-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of subcutaneous omalizumab as add-on therapy for 24 weeks in patients with chronic idiopathic urticaria/spontaneous urticaria (CIU/CSU) who remained symptomatic despite H1 antihistamine treatment at licensed doses. Patients aged 12–75 years with CIU/CSU who remained symptomatic despite treatment with approved doses of H1 antihistamines were randomized (1:1:1:1) in a double-blind manner to subcutaneous omalizumab 75 mg, 150 mg, or 300 mg or placebo every 4 weeks for 24 weeks followed by 16 weeks of follow-up. The primary end point was change from baseline in weekly itch severity score (ISS) at week 12. Among randomized patients (N=319: placebo n=80, omalizumab 75 mg n=78, 150 mg n=80, 300 mg n=81), 262 (82.1%) completed the study. Compared with placebo (n=80), mean weekly ISS was reduced from baseline to week 12 by an additional 2.96 points (95% confidence interval (CI): −4.71 to −1.21; P=0.0010), 2.95 points (95% CI: −4.72 to −1.18; P=0.0012), and 5.80 points (95% CI: −7.49 to −4.10; P<0.0001) in the omalizumab 75-mg (n=77), 150-mg (n=80), and 300-mg groups (n=81), respectively. The omalizumab 300-mg group met all nine secondary end points, including a significant decrease in the duration of time to reach minimally important difference response (⩾5-point decrease) in weekly ISS (P<0.0001) and higher percentages of patients with well-controlled symptoms (urticaria activity score over 7 days (UAS7) ⩽6: 51.9% vs. 11.3% P<0.0001) and complete response (UAS7=0: 35.8% vs. 8.8% P<0.0001) versus placebo. During the 24-week treatment period, 2 (2.9%), 3 (3.4%), 0, and 4 (5.0%) patients in the omalizumab 75-mg, 150-mg, 300-mg, and placebo groups, respectively, experienced a serious adverse event. Omalizumab 300 mg administered subcutaneously every 4 weeks reduced weekly ISS and other symptom scores versus placebo in CIU/CSU patients who remained symptomatic despite treatment with approved doses of H1 antihistamines.
PMCID: PMC4269803  PMID: 25046337
6.  270 Clinical Experience in Allergic Asthma Patients: Omalizumab with Immunotherapy 
To evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of omalizumab and specific subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) as a treatment modality in patients with more than one allergic-type condition.
In the first group (Group A), 2 males and 7 females with severe persistent asthma and a mean age of 34.2 years received omalizumab and SCIT. In the second group (Group B), 4 males and 2 females with severe persistent asthma and a mean age of 52.7 years received omalizumab only. In the third group (Group C), 1 male and 3 females with severe persistent asthma and a mean age of 28.8 years received omalizumab followed by SCIT. All patients were followed for 2 years and comparisons were made using pulmonary function tests and asthma control tests.
The patients studied had severe persistent asthma for periods ranging from 2 to 10 years, and in addition had been diagnosed as allergic asthmatics for 5 to 40 years. The mean IgE levels were as follows: Group A: 553.9 IU/mL; Group B: 422.3 IU/Ml; and Group C: 383.5 IU/mL. In all 3 groups results in the asthma control test increased by 2.5 fold over the period of study.
After the addition of SCIT to omalizumab therapy at 48 week of our study, no change was detected in urticarial attack rates. In another 17 year old male patient with moderate allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, asthma and atopic dermatitis, omalizumab administration with SCIT at the same time, increased the severity of atopic dermatitis. We stopped the immunotherapy than the skin lesions lost.omalizumab therapy is continued.
PMCID: PMC3512926
7.  269 Refractory Chronic Urticaria Treated with Omalizumab 
Chronic urticaria (CU) is a common disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of urticaria pruritic erythematous lesions, associated with angioedema1. It affects 0.1% of the population, it is estimated that approximately 15 to 25% of the population will have hives at some point in their lives.2 About 80% of UC patients are diagnosed as idiopathic chronic urticaria and that no cause is identified, 3 experiencing deterioration in their quality of life affecting your work, social relationships, schemes requiring multiple medications and doses higher than usual. This study proposes Omalizumab (anti-IgE humanized antibody) as a treatment for Refractory Chronic Urticaria (RCU)
Demonstrate Omalizumab's effectiveness in the treatment of Refractory Chronic Urticaria.
A clinical study, was carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of the Omalizumab's treatment on RCU diagnosed patient, including male and female patients ages 12 to 50 diagnosed with RCU, with Scorad higher tan 30 points. We made a questionnaire to know about the patient's family background, skin symptoms beginning, administration of drugs such sistemic steroids, inmunosupresors, calceurine inhibitors, presence of inmunotherapy and age of start. Omalizumab was administered on doses according patient's weight and IgE levels, bimonthly or monthly according to treatment guides. Severeness level was calculated with scorad every 1 month, with IgE seric level measurement and life quality questionnaire.
5 patients diagnosed with RCU were included in the group of Omalizumab and 5 patients in the control group (placebo). All patients were female. A gradual decrease on the life quality score and in Score, with a significant P under 0.05 was observed on all patients treated with omalizumab compared with patient in the group with placebo.
Treatment with Omalizumab progressively decreases the severeness level on RCU, with a significant improvement on the patient's life quality.
PMCID: PMC3513034
8.  Omalizumab: Practical considerations regarding the risk of anaphylaxis 
Omalizumab has demonstrated efficacy among patients with moderate to severe persistent allergic asthma, whose symptoms are inadequately controlled with other controller agents. This therapy is generally well tolerated, but there are some safety considerations, the most important of which is the rare, but potentially life-threatening, occurrence of omalizumab-associated anaphylaxis.
In Canada, data from the manufacturer of omalizumab indicate that the frequency of anaphylaxis attributed to Xolair in post-marketing use is approximately 0.2%. Other researchers, including the American Omalizumab Joint Task Force (OJTF), have suggested a lower overall frequency of 0.09%.
This paper provides a summary of the epidemiologic research carried out to date and presents a concise, practical set of recommendations for the prevention, monitoring and management of omalizumab-associated anaphylaxis. Prevention tips include advice on patient education measures, concomitant medications and optimal administration. For the first three injections, the recommendation is to monitor in clinic for two hours after the omalizumab injection; for subsequent injections, the monitoring period should be 30 minutes or an appropriate time agreed upon by the individual patient and healthcare professional.
In the event that a patient does experience omalizumab-associated anaphylaxis, the paper provides recommendations for handling the situation in-clinic and recommendations on how to counsel patients to recognize the potential signs and symptoms in the community and react appropriately.
PMCID: PMC3006370  PMID: 21129189
9.  Omalizumab vs. placebo in the management of chronic idiopathic urticaria: a systematic review 
To examine the evidence derived from randomized controlled clinical trials on the efficacy and safety of omalizumab compared to placebo in controlling symptoms of chronic idiopathic urticaria/chronic spontaneous urticaria (CIU/CSU).
Data source
The electronic databases PubMed, Medline, EMBASE, Biomed Central, The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), Wiley, OVID, and HighwirePress were reviewed. The date limit was set to May 31th, but it was extended to September 30th of 2014 due to a new publication. No language restriction was used. The articles included were randomized trials controlled with placebo in individuals older than 12 years diagnosed with CIU/CSU refractory to conventional treatment, the intervention being, omalizumab at different doses, and the comparison, placebo. The primary outcome was symptom improvement according to the weekly score of urticaria severity (UAS7), the itch severity score (ISS), the weekly score of number of urticarial lesions, the dermatology life quality index, and the chronic urticaria quality of life questionnaire (CU-QoL). Databases were searched using the following Mesh or EMTREE key words including as intervention “omalizumab” or “humanized monoclonal antibody,” compared to placebo and the disease of interest “urticaria” or “angioedema”. The title, abstract and article were reviewed by two independent investigators, according to the selection criteria in each of the databases. An assessment of the quality of the articles was performed according to the bias tool from the studies of the Cochrane Collaboration. Information such as author data, date of study, number of participants, interventions, dose and frequency of administration, comparison, time of follow-up, measurements of weekly score of urticaria activity, pruritus severity score, weekly urticarial lesions, percentage of angioedema and post-treatment change were extracted. Frequency of adverse events and the ones suspected to be caused by the intervention drug were included.
770 records were identified in all databases described. 720 were eliminated for failing to meet the inclusion criteria in the first review or for duplicate records. 24 articles were reviewed by abstract, 18 additional articles were further removed, leaving 6 records for inclusion. An experimental study was excluded because it wasn’t randomized. Five studies were finally included, with 1117 patients, of these 831 received a dose of omalizumab of 75 mg (183 patients, 16.38%), 150 mg (163 patients, 14.59%), 300 mg (437 patients, 39.12%) or 600 mg (21 patients, 1.8%), as a single dose, or every 4 weeks until 24 weeks maximum. The average age was 42.07 years, predominantly female gender and white ethnicity. It was observed that the use of omalizumab 300 mg lowered the weekly scores of urticarial activity in 19.9 vs. 6.9 on placebo (p <0.01), 19 vs 8.5 and 20.7 vs 8.01 in three studies, the weekly ISS (−9.2 vs. - 3.5, p <0.001, −9.8 vs −5.1 p < 0.01, −8.6 vs −4.0 and −9.4 vs −3.63 p <0.001 in four studies), and the percentage of angioedema-free days (omalizumab 95.5% vs. placebo 89.2% p <0.001, and 91.95% vs. 88.1% p <0.001 in two of the studies respectively).
The different doses used throughout the study, time of administration and follow-up periods ranged from single dose to monthly dose for 24 weeks. Therefore no meta-analysis of the review was conducted.
Conclusions and implications of the main findings
Despite the limitations, it is considered that omalizumab 300 mg is effective in treating chronic idiopathic urticaria refractory to H1 antihistamines. Further studies are required to determine the duration of effective treatment.
Registration number of the systematic review
CRD42014010029 (PROSPERO. International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews).
PMCID: PMC4280746  PMID: 25566332
Antibodies; Monoclonal; Humanized; Urticaria; Angioedema
10.  Changes in blood eosinophilia during omalizumab therapy as a predictor of asthma exacerbation 
Omalizumab is a monoclonal anti-immunoglobulin E antibody developed for the treatment of severe allergic asthma. The number of exacerbations used as a parameter of omalizumab therapy efficacy may be insufficient in many cases due to a relatively short time to first evaluation (16 weeks). Therefore, it is advisable to look for parameters of more prognostic value while continuing omalizumab therapy.
To evaluate usefulness of analysis of changes of blood eosinophilia after 16 weeks of omalizumab therapy as a predictor of asthma exacerbations.
Material and methods
The study was conducted on a group of 13 patients with severe persistent allergic asthma treated with omalizumab. Blood eosinophil counts were measured before and after 16 weeks of anti-IgE therapy. On the basis of percentage of eosinophilia decrease (> 50% or < 50% of the initial value), patients were divided into two groups. Analysis of the asthma exacerbation rate during 12 months and time to first exacerbation was performed.
In the group with a high decrease in blood eosinophil counts (group 1) we showed a statistically significantly lower asthma exacerbation rate in 12 months compared with the group with a low decrease in blood eosinophil counts (group 2) (p = 0.02). We also observed the tendency to longer time to first asthma exacerbation in group 1 compared to group 2 (p = 0.06).
Our results showed that a decrease in blood eosinophilia during omalizumab therapy can be a predictor of asthma exacerbation. Evaluation of changes in blood eosinophil count should be taken into the consideration while estimating response to anti-IgE therapy in patients with severe allergic asthma.
PMCID: PMC4221351  PMID: 25395927
omalizumab; eosinophils; asthma exacerbation
11.  277 Serum Soluble Trail Levels in Patients With Severe Persistent Allergic Asthma: Its Relation to Omalizumab Treatment 
The pathogenesis of allergic asthma and other allergic conditions are believed to be closely interrelated because of the similar dynamics of allergy-inducing cells and molecules, and the independent evidence for their clinical overlap. In this study we compare the diseases and the effect of Omalizumab treatment on the dynamics of cell apoptosis regulating molecules.
In the first group, 6 males and 8 females (a total of 14 patients) were selected with severe persistent asthma with a mean age of 42.4 years (Table I). All patients received omalizumab therapy for 4 months, with treatment administered every 2 weeks. Symptoms and severity of allergic reactions were recorded before and after treatment with omalizumab. Clinical changes and adverse effects were assessed and recorded at each patient visit. The second group consisted of 14 newly diagnosed allergic asthma patients with mean age was 43.8 years. All of these patients were followed up in the Immunology Allergy Clinic of the Antalya Education and Training Hospital, and were evaluated by clinical status. The third group consisted of 14 healthy volunteers, with no difference in age and sex (mean age was 43,3 years. Serum sTRAIL levels in all individuals (patients and healthy controls) were measured by a sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (Diaclone, France).
There were no differences between the healthy controls, newly diagnosed allergic asthma patients and non-treated severe persistent allergic asthma patients during the active phase (P < 0.05). Interestingly, the variance levels in patients who received omalizumab treatment were significantly lower than the healthy controls.
In summary, we speculate that the physiological functions of sTRAIL in allergic conditions, and the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms by which sTRAIL: TRAIL receptor signals cells, will be of significant interest to the scientific allergy community in the coming years. Our study provides a novel perspective on severe persistent allergic asthma and the effect of omalizumab treatment on cell apoptosis, using serum sTRAIL measurements.
PMCID: PMC3512706
12.  Immunologic Effects of Omalizumab in Children with Severe Refractory Atopic Dermatitis: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial 
Severe refractory atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic, debilitating condition that is associated with elevated serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels. Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP), thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC) and OX40 ligand (OX40L) are important immunologic factors involved in the pathogenesis of AD. Omalizumab, an anti-IgE antibody indicated for use in allergic asthma, is implicated in regulating allergen presentation by dendritic cells and the T cell response during the effector phases of allergic disease. We investigated if anti-IgE therapy modulates the allergen-specific responses mediated by the TSLP pathway in young patients with severe refractory AD.
This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 8 patients between the ages of 4 and 22 years (mean = 11.6 years) with severe refractory AD (clinical NCT01678092). Serum IgE ranged from 218 to 1,890 (mean = 1,068 IU/ml). Subjects received omalizumab (n = 4) or placebo (n = 4) every 2–4 weeks over 24 weeks using a regimen extrapolated from the package insert. TSLP, TARC, OX40L and other cytokines involved in AD were measured by using cytometric bead arrays.
All patients receiving omalizumab had strikingly decreased levels of TSLP, OX40L, TARC (involved in Th2 polarization) and interleukin (IL)-9 compared to placebo. In addition, there was a marked increase in IL-10, a tolerogenic cytokine, in the omalizumab-treated group. Patients on anti-IgE therapy had an improvement in clinical outcomes as measured by the SCORAD system; however, these effects were comparable to improvements in the control group.
Anti-IgE therapy with omalizumab decreases levels of cytokines that are involved in Th2 polarization and allergic inflammation, including TSLP, TARC and OX40L.
PMCID: PMC4161454  PMID: 23816920
Atopic dermatitis; Immunoglobulin E; Omalizumab; Cytokine expression
13.  Cost-effectiveness of omalizumab in adults with severe asthma: Results from the Asthma Policy Model 
Omalizumab (trade name Xolair) is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for treatment of moderate-to-severe allergic asthma. Given the high acquisition cost of omalizumab, its role and cost-effectiveness in disease management require definition.
We sought to identify the clinical and economic circumstances under which omalizumab might or might not be a cost-effective option by using a mathematic model.
We merged published data on clinical and economic outcomes (including acute event incidence, frequency/severity of hospitalizations, and health-related quality of life) to project 10-year costs, quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), and cost-effectiveness of treatment with omalizumab in addition to inhaled corticosteroids. Sensitivity analyses were conducted by using input data ranges from a variety of sources (published clinical trials and observational databases).
For patients with baseline acute event rates, omalizumab conferred an additional 1.7 quality-adjusted months at an incremental cost of $131,000 over a 10-year planning horizon, implying a cost-effectiveness ratio of $821,000 per QALY gained. For patients with 5 times the baseline acute event rate, the cost-effectiveness ratio was $491,000 per QALY gained. The projected cost-effectiveness ratio could fall within a range of other programs that are widely considered to be cost-effective if the cost of omalizumab decreases to less than $200.
Omalizumab is not cost-effective for most patients with severe asthma. The projected cost-effectiveness ratios could fall within a favorable range if the cost of omalizumab decreases significantly.
Clinical implications
Based on the high cost of omalizumab, it is especially important that clinicians explore alternative medications for asthma before initiating omalizumab.
PMCID: PMC3476046  PMID: 17904628
Omalizumab; cost-effectiveness; asthma; anti-IgE
14.  Reassessment of Omalizumab-Dosing Strategies and Pharmacodynamics in Inner-City Children and Adolescents 
Treatment regimens for omalizumab are guided by a dosing table that is based on total serum IgE and body weight. Limited data exist about onset and offset of omalizumab efficacy in children and adolescents or subgroups that most benefit from treatment.
Post hoc analyses were conducted to (1) examine patient characteristics of those eligible and ineligible for omalizumab, (2) describe onset of effect after initiation of omalizumab and offset of treatment effect after stopping therapy, and (3) determine whether the efficacy differs by age, asthma severity, dosing regimen, and prespecified biomarkers.
Inner-city children and adolescents with persistent allergic asthma were enrolled in the Inner-City Anti-IgE Therapy for Asthma trial that compared omalizumab with placebo added to guidelines-based therapy for 60 weeks.
Two hundred ninety-three of 889 participants (33%) clinically suitable for omalizumab were ineligible for dosing according to a modified dosing table specifying IgE level and body weight criteria. Baseline symptoms were comparable among those eligible and ineligible to receive omalizumab, but other characteristics (rate of health care utilization and skin test results) differed. The time of onset of omalizumab effect was <30 days and time of offset was between 30 and 120 days. No difference in efficacy was noted by age or asthma severity, but high exhaled nitric oxide, blood eosinophils, and body mass index predicted efficacy.
A significant portion of children and adolescents particularly suited for omalizumab because of asthma severity status may be ineligible due to IgE >1300 IU/mL. Omalizumab reduced asthma symptoms and exacerbations rapidly; features associated with efficacy can be identified to guide patient selection.
PMCID: PMC4254887  PMID: 24565455
Asthma exacerbations; Biomarkers; Dosing regimens; Inhaled corticosteroids; Omalizumab; Pharmacodynamics; Response predictors
15.  Serum-soluble TRAIL levels in patients with severe persistent allergic asthma: Its relation to omalizumab treatment 
In this study we compare the Omalizumab treatment modality in the dynamics of cell apoptosis regulating molecules in both severe persistent asthma patients who had no other any allergic disease, newly diagnosed patients with allergic asthma, and healthy volunteers.
Severe persistent allergic asthma patients were subjected to measurement of serum soluble TRAIL (TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand) levels during the active disease phase and the stable phase which occurred 4 months after Omalizumab treatment. Serum sTRAIL concentrations were measured by a solid phase sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Concentration levels were compared with those of age- and sex-matched newly diagnosed patients with allergic asthma, and healthy controls. All assays were carried out in duplicate. Total serum IgE levels, antinuclear antibody (ANA), rheumatoid factor (RF), hepatitis markers, C3, C4 and eosinophil levels were evaluated in all patients.
ANA, RF, hepatitis markers were negative in all patients. Complement 3 and 4 levels were normal in all patients. Prick tests in all patients were detected in mite and grass allergy. These results correlated with specific IgE. There were no differences between the healthy controls, newly diagnosed allergic asthma patients, and non-treated severe persistent allergic asthma patients during the active phase. Interestingly, the levels in variances of the patients who had the effective omalizumab treatment were significantly lower than the healthy controls, while the mean values were not statistically significant.
Our study gives a different perspective on severe persistent allergic asthma and omalizumab treatment efficacy at the cell apoptosis-linked step by the serum sTRAIL levels.
PMCID: PMC3560751  PMID: 22367138
severe persistent allergic asthma; allergic asthma; soluble TRAIL; omalizumab
16.  Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis treated successfully for one year with omalizumab 
Current therapy for allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) uses oral corticosteroids, exposing patients to the adverse effects of these agents. There are reports of the steroid-sparing effect of anti-IgE therapy with omalizumab for ABPA in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF), but there is little information on its efficacy against ABPA in patients with bronchial asthma without CF.
To examine the effects of omalizumab, measured by asthma control, blood eosinophilia, total serum immunoglobulin E (IgE), oral corticosteroid requirements, and forced expiratory volume spirometry in patients with ABPA and bronchial asthma.
A retrospective review of charts from 2004–2006 of patients treated with omalizumab at an academic allergy and immunology practice in the Bronx, New York were examined for systemic steroid and rescue inhaler usage, serum immunoglobulin E levels, blood eosinophil counts, and asthma symptoms, as measured by the Asthma Control Test (ACT).
A total of 21 charts were screened for the diagnosis of ABPA and bronchial asthma. Four patients with ABPA were identified; two of these patients were male. The median monthly systemic corticosteroid use at 6 months and 12 months decreased from baseline usage. Total serum IgE decreased in all patients at 12 months of therapy. Pre-bronchodilator forced expiratory vital capacity at one second (FEV1) was variable at 1 year of treatment. There was an improvement in Asthma Control Test (ACT) symptom scores for both daytime and nighttime symptoms.
Treatment with omalizumab creates a steroid-sparing effect, reduces systemic inflammatory markers, and results in improvement in ACT scores in patients with ABPA.
PMCID: PMC3508546  PMID: 23204847
allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis; omalizumab; asthma
17.  Severe asthma and the omalizumab option 
Atopic diseases and asthma are increasing at a remarkable rate on a global scale. It is now well recognized that asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways. The inflammatory process in many patients is driven by an immunoglobulin E (IgE)-dependent process. Mast cell activation and release of mediators, in response to allergen and IgE, results in a cascade response, culminating in B lymphocyte, T lymphocyte, eosinophil, fibroblast, smooth muscle cell and endothelial activation. This complex cellular interaction, release of cytokines, chemokines and growth factors and inflammatory remodeling of the airways leads to chronic asthma. A subset of patients develops severe airway disease which can be extremely morbid and even fatal. While many treatments are available for asthma, it is still a chronic and incurable disease, characterized by exacerbation, hospitalizations and associated adverse effects of medications. Omalizumab is a new option for chronic asthma that acts by binding to and inhibiting the effects of IgE, thereby interfering with one aspect of the asthma cascade reviewed earlier. This is a humanized monoclonal antibody against IgE that has been shown to have many beneficial effects in asthma. Use of omalizumab may be influenced by the cost of the medication and some reported adverse effects including the rare possibility of anaphylaxis. When used in selected cases and carefully, omalizumab provides a very important tool in disease management. It has been shown to have additional effects in urticaria, angioedema, latex allergy and food allergy, but the data is limited and the indications far from clear. In addition to decreasing exacerbations, it has a steroid sparing role and hence may decrease adverse effects in some patients on high-dose glucocorticoids. Studies have shown improvement in quality of life measures in asthma following the administration of omalizumab, but the effects on pulmonary function are surprisingly small, suggesting a disconnect between pulmonary function, exacerbations and quality of life. Anaphylaxis may occur rarely with this agent and appropriate precautions have been recommended by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As currently practiced and as suggested by the new asthma guidelines, this biological agent is indicated in moderate or severe persistent allergic asthma (steps 5 and 6).
PMCID: PMC2478654  PMID: 18489791
18.  Long-term efficacy and safety of omalizumab in patients with persistent uncontrolled allergic asthma: a systematic review and meta-analysis 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:8191.
Currently, limited information is available to clinicians regarding the long-term efficacy of omalizumab treatment for allergic asthma. In this report, we aimed to (i) systematically review the evidence regarding the long-term efficacy of omalizumab in patients with persistent uncontrolled allergic asthma, and to (ii) discuss the cost-effectiveness evidence published for omalizumab in this patient population. A comprehensive search for randomized controlled trials (RCTs; ≥52 weeks) was performed, and six studies met our final inclusion criteria (n = 2,749). Omalizumab was associated with significant improvements in quality of life and the Global Evaluation of Treatment Effectiveness. Omalizumab also allowed patients to completely withdraw from inhaled corticosteroid therapy and did not increase the overall incidence of adverse events. However, there was insufficient evidence that omalizumab reduced the incidence of exacerbations, and the cost-effectiveness of omalizumab varied across studies. Our data indicated that omalizumab use for at least 52 weeks in patients with persistent uncontrolled allergic asthma was accompanied by an acceptable safety profile, but it lacked effect on the asthma exacerbations. Use of omalizumab was associated with a higher cost than conventional therapy, but these increases may be cost-effective if the medication is used in patients with severe allergic asthma.
PMCID: PMC4314644  PMID: 25645133
19.  Le rôle de l’omalizumab dans le traitement de l’asthme allergique grave 
Un nouveau traitement anti-immunoglobuline E (anti-IgE) contre l’asthme, l’omalizumab, a été approuvé au Canada.
Passer en revue les données fondamentales et cliniques sur l’omalizumab et examiner le rôle possible de ce médicament dans la prise en charge de l’asthme au Canada.
Une recherche documentaire a été effectuée dans MEDLINE afin de repérer les études menées de 1960 à 2006 sur l’omalizumab. La recherche a également porté sur les résumés de réunions scientifiques récentes dans le domaine des maladies respiratoires et des allergies; par ailleurs, toute donnée non publiée a été demandée au fabricant. Après avoir revu et résumé les données, un comité mixte constitué de spécialistes des maladies respiratoires et des allergies a rédigé un ensemble de recommandations relatives à l’utilisation de l’omalizumab.
L’omalizumab est un anticorps monoclonal humanisé qui se lie au domaine C epsilon 3 de la molécule d’IgE pour former des complexes immuns solubles qui sont éliminés par le système réticulo-endothélial. L’administration d’injections sous-cutanées espacées de deux ou de quatre semaines à la dose recommandée entraîne une diminution rapide des taux d’IgE circulantes libres. Lors de deux essais cliniques de phase III menés auprès de 1 405 adultes et adolescents atteints d’asthme modéré à grave qui recevaient des doses moyennes stables de corticostéroïdes en inhalation (CSI), l’omalizumab a diminué les taux d’exacerbation par rapport au placebo et a été associé à une amélioration des symptômes ainsi qu’à une épargne plus importante des corticostéroïdes. Dans un essai mené auprès de 419 patients atteints d’asthme grave non maîtrisé malgré l’utilisation de doses élevées de CSI et de la prise concomitante d’agonistes bêta-2 à action prolongée, les exacerbations graves étaient de 50 % moins fréquentes chez les patients traités par l’omalizumab que chez les sujets témoins. Des analyses rétrospectives ont permis d’identifier les caractéristiques des patients les plus susceptibles de répondre au traitement par l’omalizumab.
L’omalizumab pourrait être envisagé comme traitement d’appoint dans les cas atopiques d’asthme grave non maîtrisé avec des traitements classiques par des doses optimales de CSI et un traitement d’appoint approprié (p. ex. : agonistes bêta-2 à action prolongée). En général, les patients sont classés en fonction de leur recours – traitement court et fréquent ou continu et oral – aux corticostéroïdes. Il ne faut amorcer le traitement qu’après avoir consulté un spécialiste pour confirmer le diagnostic et s’assurer que le traitement classique est optimal.
PMCID: PMC2806788
anticorps monoclonaux; atopie; gravité de l’asthme; IgE
20.  155 Omalizumab Improves Asthma but not Nasal Symptoms in Japanese Patients With Severe Allergic Asthma and Rhinitis 
There is evidence that humanized monoclonal antibody against IgE (Omalizumab) is effective in severe allergic asthma. In this study, we examined the effectiveness of omalizumab on asthma and nasal symptoms in Japanese patients with severe allergic asthma and rhinitis.
An open-label study that enrolled 7 patients with both severe allergic asthma and rhinitis who visited Allergy Center, Saitama Medical University was performed. All patients presented uncontrolled asthma despite medication including high-dose inhalational corticosteroids, long-acting beta2-agonist, leukotriene receptor antagonist, theophylline, and oral predonisolone. Omalizumab was added on their treatments and symptoms score using Asthma Contol Test (ACT), peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR), exhaled nitric oxide (eNO), sputum eosinophils and nasal symptoms were evaluated before and 12 to 16 weeks after omalizumab.
Omalizumab significantly improved ACT scores especially dose of rescue use of short-acting beta2-agonist (P < 0.05) and PEFR (P < 0.05). Furthermore, omalizumab significantly decreased exhaled both eNO (P < 0.05) and the percentage of eosinophils in induced sputum. On the other hand, nasal symptoms were not change following induction of omalizumab.
Clinical effectiveness of omalizumab was confirmed in Japanese population of severe allergic asthma, but not rhinitis. The therapeutic potency of omalizumab on asthma likely involves anti-inflammatory properties such as decreasing eNO or airway eosinophilia.
PMCID: PMC3513114
21.  Reduced Fc∊RI-Mediated Release of Asthma-Promoting Cytokines and Chemokines from Human Basophils during Omalizumab Therapy 
Treating asthmatics with the humanized IgE-scavenging antibody, omalizumab (rhuMAb-E25, Xolair®), reduces airways inflammation and asthma symptoms. Previously, omalizumab was shown to cause a dramatic and reversible loss of cell surface high-affinity IgE receptors, Fc∊RI, from the peripheral blood basophils of asthmatics. The consequences of receptor loss for the Fc∊RI-mediated synthesis and release of cytokines implicated in allergic asthma have not been examined.
Fifteen asthmatic volunteers each received omalizumab for 12 weeks. Peripheral blood basophils were isolated before, during, 2 weeks after and 6 months after omalizumab. Basophils were assayed for the basal and anti-IgE-stimulated release of cytokines, chemokines and histamine. Pooled data were analyzed by repeated measures ANOVA and by paired t tests.
Anti-IgE-stimulated human basophils synthesize and release Th2 cytokines (IL-4, IL-13) and chemokines (IL-8, RANTES). The anti-IgE-stimulated release of IL-4, IL-13 and IL-8 was reduced during omalizumab treatment and returned to pretreatment levels after omalizumab withdrawal. Omalizumab did not alter basophil histamine levels or basal and anti-IgE-stimulated histamine release.
Omalizumab may reduce asthma symptoms in part by suppressing the Fc∊RI-mediated production by basophils of Th2 cytokines and selected chemokines. Anti-IgE-stimulated basophil cytokine synthesis appears more sensitive than histamine release to the loss of Fc∊RI caused by omalizumab treatment.
PMCID: PMC2853585  PMID: 19844128
Basophils; Cytokine; Chemokine; Histamine; Asthma; Omalizumab; Xolair®; IgE receptor; Fc∊RI
22.  280 Use of Omalizumab in Chronic Moderate to Severe Persistent Asthma-an Indian Experience 
The worldwide prevalence of asthma is high and increasing. In India prevalence of asthma is variable from 4% to 20%. Despite ICS plus LABA therapy 72% of asthma patients were uncontrolled or not well controlled in INSPIRE study. Immunoglobulin-E plays a central role in inflammatory cascade. To study the efficacy of omalizumab in Indian patients with moderate to severe persistent asthma in terms of quality of life (QOL) improvement, reduction in severe exacerbation, ED visits and loss of working days.
52 patients aged from 12+ years to 86 years (23.3 % females, avg age: 33.6, avg S.IgE: 283) fulfilling omalizumab indication criteria were given 150 mg subcutaneously once in 2 or 4 weeks for 16 to 24 weeks during March 2007 till date. QOL assessment 52 weeks after treatment in terms of following parameters were studied: Asthma symptoms (Cough, wheezing, tightness in the chest) Night Symptoms (frequent awakening, sleep disturbances) Rescue medication use Loss of working days/school days Emergency visits.
94% of patients were able to reduce or discontinue regular OCS use. 72% reduction in exacerbations, 76% reductions in emergency visits ICS/LABA dose was maintained/reduced in ∼ 93 % patients. –54% improvement in working/school days in the age group of 12 to 40 years. 60% improvement in uninterrupted sleep hours best improvement in QOL was observed in 12 to 40 years age group.
Omalizumab is well tolerated and effective as an add-on therapy in patients of moderate to severe persistent Asthma and offers a therapeutic and economic benefit to patient. Its potential as disease modifier and early intervention in treatment guidelines needs further studies.
PMCID: PMC3512853
23.  Improvement of quality of life in patients with concomitant allergic asthma and atopic dermatitis: one year follow-up of omalizumab therapy 
Anti IgE treatment with omalizumab is efficacious in the treatment of patients suffering from allergic asthma, improving asthma control and improving quality of life. Furthermore, this approach could be beneficial for patients with concomitant atopic dermatitis. We assessed quality of life and asthma control in atopic patients with allergic asthma and concomitant atopic dermatitis versus those with asthma and without atopic dermatitis treated with omalizumab.
A total of 22 patients with severe allergic asthma were treated with omalizumab for 12 months. 13 patients with allergic asthma without concomitant atopic dermatitis (IgE 212 ± 224 IU/ml) and 9 patients with concomitant allergic asthma and atopic dermatitis (IgE 3,528 ± 2,723 IU/ml) were included. Asthma-related quality of life (AQLQ), atopic dermatitis related quality of life (DLQI), and asthma-related treatment were compared between both groups at baseline and after initiating omalizumab treatment.
DLQI was significantly in favor of omalizumab after 2 months in the atopic dermatitis/asthma group (P = 0.01); AQLQ was improved after 6 months in the asthma group (P = 0.01), while no change was seen in AQLQ in the atopic dermatitis/asthma group (P = 0.12). Omalizumab controlled oral corticosteroid use more effective (P < 0.01) in patients with asthma and atopic dermatitis (in 9/9 cases) compared to patients with asthma alone (9/13). Baseline IgE as well as other factors do not predict response to omalizumab.
Omalizumab is effective in improving atopic dermatitis-related quality of life scores and modulates oral corticosteroid use in patients with concomitant asthma and atopic dermatitis in a positive fashion.
PMCID: PMC3352146  PMID: 22024441
allergic asthma; anti-IgE; atopic dermatitis; omalizumab; quality of life
24.  Reduction in oral corticosteroid use in patients receiving omalizumab for allergic asthma in the real-world setting 
Oral corticosteroids (OCS) are commonly administered in patients with severe persistent allergic asthma. Despite their efficacy, they are associated with a wide variety of adverse events. The eXpeRience registry was set up to investigate real-world outcomes among patients receiving omalizumab for the treatment of uncontrolled allergic asthma. Here, we present the effect of omalizumab treatment on OCS use.
eXpeRience was a 2-year, multinational, non-interventional, observational registry of patients receiving omalizumab for uncontrolled allergic asthma. OCS use (proportion of patients on maintenance OCS, mean total daily OCS dose and change in status of OCS therapy) was assessed at baseline, 16 weeks, and 8, 12, 18, and 24 months after the initiation of omalizumab. Response to omalizumab was assessed using the physician’s Global Evaluation of Treatment Effectiveness (GETE) at approximately Week 16. Safety data were also recorded.
A total of 943 patients (mean age, 45 years; female, 64.9%) were enrolled in the registry, 263 of whom were receiving maintenance OCS at baseline. The proportion of patients taking maintenance OCS was markedly lower at Months 12 (16.1%) and 24 (14.2%) than at baseline (28.6%; intent-to-treat population). GETE status was determined in 915 patients receiving omalizumab: 64.2% were responders (excellent or good response), 30.7% were non-responders (moderate, poor or worsening response); 5.1% had no assessment. The frequency of serious adverse events was comparable to that seen in controlled trials of omalizumab.
Omalizumab use is associated with an OCS-sparing effect in patients with uncontrolled persistent allergic asthma in the real-world setting.
PMCID: PMC3879326  PMID: 24305549
Anti-immunoglobulin E; Oral corticosteroid use; Omalizumab; Registry; Uncontrolled persistent allergic asthma
25.  Omalizumab: the evidence for its place in the treatment of allergic asthma 
Core Evidence  2008;3(1):55-66.
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory airways disease associated with reversible airflow obstruction and bronchial hyperresponsiveness. Asthma is prevalent worldwide and results in significant morbidity, mortality, and healthcare costs, the majority of which arise from those with severe disease. Omalizumab is a monoclonal antibody to immunoglobulin E (IgE) that has been developed for the treatment of severe persistent allergic (IgE mediated) asthma.
The aim of this review is to evaluate the available clinical evidence on omalizumab to determine the role it has to play in the treatment of persistent allergic asthma.
Evidence review:
There is clear evidence to show that omalizumab is effective in reducing the rate of asthma exacerbations, inhaled corticosteroid dose, and the need for rescue medication in patients with allergic asthma. Clinical data indicate beneficial effects on patient-reported symptoms and perceived quality of life, as well as a reduction in unscheduled healthcare visits. There is little evidence to suggest omalizumab may enhance lung function or reduce the requirement for oral corticosteroids. Omalizumab has a favorable safety profile, although anaphylaxis has occurred. A study in children showed similar results to those achieved in adults and adolescents, with fewer asthma exacerbations and school days missed. Omalizumab may be cost effective in patients when used as add-on therapy to inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta2 agonists (LABA).
Place in therapy:
Omalizumab is an effective add-on therapy to inhaled corticosteroids and LABAs in adults and adolescents with severe persistent allergic asthma. Currently there is insufficient evidence to support the use of omalizumab in children.
PMCID: PMC2899803  PMID: 20694084
allergic asthma; omalizumab; immunoglobulin E; evidence

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