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IgE Blocker Approved for Treatment of Allergy-Associated Asthma

KEY POINT

Omalizumab (Xolair—Genentech; Novartis) has been approved by FDA for subcutaneous treatment of moderate to severe persistent asthma in adults and adolescents (12 years of age and above) who have a positive skin test or in vitro reactivity to a perennial aeroallergen and whose symptoms are inadequately controlled with inhaled corticosteroids. This agent is the first humanized therapeutic antibody for treatment of asthma and the first approved therapy designed to target immunoglobulin E (IgE) in management of asthma.

SOURCES

Xolair Web site. http://www.xolair.com

Casale TB et al. Effect of omalizumab on symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2001;286:2956–67.

Busse WW, Lemanske RF. Asthma. N Engl J Med. 2001;344:350–62.

Kay AB. Allergy and allergic diseases—second of two parts. N Engl J Med. 2001;344:109–13.