The effect of treatment with omalizumab, an anti-IgE antibody, on asthma exacerbations and emergency medical visits in patients with severe persistent asthma
Article first published online: 16 NOV 2004
Volume 60, Issue 3, pages 302–308, March 2005
How to Cite
Bousquet, J., Cabrera, P., Berkman, N., Buhl, R., Holgate, S., Wenzel, S., Fox, H., Hedgecock, S., Blogg, M. and Cioppa, G. D. (2005), The effect of treatment with omalizumab, an anti-IgE antibody, on asthma exacerbations and emergency medical visits in patients with severe persistent asthma. Allergy, 60: 302–308. doi: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2004.00770.x
- Issue published online: 20 DEC 2004
- Article first published online: 16 NOV 2004
- Accepted for publication 23 September 2004
- anti-immunoglobulin E;
- emergency room visits;
- severe persistent asthma
Background: Patients with severe persistent asthma who are inadequately controlled despite treatment according to current asthma management guidelines have a significant unmet medical need. Such patients are at high risk of serious exacerbations and asthma-related mortality.
Methods: Here, we pooled data from seven studies to determine the effect of omalizumab, an anti-immunoglobulin E (IgE) monoclonal antibody, on asthma exacerbations in patients with severe persistent asthma. Omalizumab was added to current asthma therapy and compared with placebo (in five double-blind studies) or with current asthma therapy alone (in two open-label studies). The studies included 4308 patients (2511 treated with omalizumab), 93% of whom had severe persistent asthma according to the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) 2002 classification. Using the Poisson regression model, results were calculated as the ratio of treatment effect (omalizumab : control) on the standardized exacerbation rate per year.
Results: Omalizumab significantly reduced the rate of asthma exacerbations by 38% (P < 0.0001 vs control) and the rate of total emergency visits by 47% (P < 0.0001 vs control). Analysis of demographic subgroups showed that the efficacy of omalizumab on asthma exacerbations was unaffected by patient age, gender, baseline serum IgE (split by median) or by 2- or 4-weekly dosing schedule, although benefit in absolute terms appeared to be greatest in patients with more severe asthma, defined by a lower value of percentage predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) at baseline.
Conclusions: These results suggest that omalizumab may fulfil an important need in patients with severe persistent asthma, many of whom are not adequately controlled on current therapy.