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Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2007 Nov;7(11):1739-47.

Anti-IgE in allergic asthma and rhinitis: an update.

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Southampton General Hospital, Infection, Inflammation & Repair, Mailpoint 810, Level F, South Block, SO16 7LS, Southampton, UK.


Allergic asthma and rhinitis imposes a huge burden in terms of treatment costs, productivity loss and hospital admissions. IgE plays a significant role in the manifestation of these conditions and the identification of a monoclonal antibody that binds to IgE provides clinicians another therapeutic strategy in the management of these conditions. Blocking the effects of IgE by omalizumab, a recombinant humanized monoclonal antibody that selectively binds to IgE has been shown to be a useful adjunct in the treatment of allergic asthma and rhinitis. Omalizumab is effective as a steroid reducing agent in patients with severe asthma and is successful in decreasing asthma exacerbations. Omalizumab was well tolerated in clinical trials, however, the potential long-term side effects need careful monitoring. The high cost of the molecule could make this a therapeutic option in a small proportion of patients in whom there is a large unmet need.

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