Omalizumab in the treatment of severe asthma: efficacy and current problems.
Ther Adv Respir Dis. 2008 Dec;2(6):409-21
Authors: Pelaia G, Renda T, Romeo P, Busceti MT, Maselli R
Omalizumab is a humanized monoclonal anti-IgE antibody recently approved for the treatment of severe allergic asthma. This drug inhibits allergic responses by binding to serum IgE, thus preventing their interactions with cellular IgE receptors. Omalizumab is also capable of downregulating the expression of high-affinity IgE receptors on inflammatory cells, as well as the numbers of eosinophils in both blood and induced sputum. The clinical effects of omalizumab include relevant improvements in respiratory symptoms and quality of life, paralleled by a marked reduction of asthma exacerbations, emergency room visits, and use of systemic corticosteroids and rescue bronchodilators. Omalizumab is relatively well tolerated, and only rarely induces anaphylactic reactions. Therefore, this drug represents a valid option as add-on therapy for patients with severe persistent allergic asthma, inadequately controlled by high doses of standard inhaled treatments.
PMID: 19124386 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]