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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009 Dec;124(6):1210-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2009.09.021.

Omalizumab for the treatment of exacerbations in children with inadequately controlled allergic (IgE-mediated) asthma.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of North Texas, Fort Worth, TX 76132, USA.



Many children with asthma continue to experience symptoms despite available therapies.


This study evaluated the efficacy and safety of omalizumab, a humanized anti-IgE mAb, in children with moderate-to-severe persistent allergic (IgE-mediated) asthma that was inadequately controlled despite treatment with medium-dose or high-dose inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) with or without other controller medications.


A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial enrolled children age 6 to <12 years with perennial allergen sensitivity and history of exacerbations and asthma symptoms despite at least medium-dose ICSs. Patients were randomized 2:1 to receive omalizumab (75-375 mg sc, q2 or q4 wk) or placebo over a period of 52 weeks (24-week fixed-steroid phase followed by a 28-week adjustable-steroid phase).


A total of 627 patients (omalizumab, n = 421; placebo, n = 206) were randomized, with efficacy analyzed in 576 (omalizumab, n = 384; placebo, n = 192). Over the 24-week fixed-steroid phase, omalizumab reduced the rate of clinically significant asthma exacerbations (worsening symptoms requiring doubling of baseline ICS dose and/or systemic steroids) by 31% versus placebo (0.45 vs 0.64; rate ratio, 0.69; P = .007). Over a period of 52 weeks, the exacerbation rate was reduced by 43% versus placebo (P < .001). Omalizumab significantly reduced severe exacerbations. Over a period of 52 weeks, omalizumab had an acceptable safety profile, with no difference in overall incidence of adverse events compared with placebo.


Add-on omalizumab is effective and well tolerated as maintenance therapy in children (6 to <12 years) with moderate-to-severe persistent allergic (IgE-mediated) asthma whose symptoms are inadequately controlled despite medium to high doses of ICSs.


[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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