Omalizumab Improves Lung Function in Persistent Allergic Asthma

Spirometer and stethoscope
Spirometer and stethoscope
Patients with moderate to severe persistent allergic asthma who were treated with omalizumab experienced greater improvements in lung function after 16 weeks compared with those treated with placebo.

This article is part of Pulmonology Advisor‘s coverage of the CHEST 2018 meeting, taking place in San Antonio, Texas. Our staff will report on medical research related to COPD, critical care medicine, and more conducted by experts in the field. Check back regularly for more news from CHEST 2018.

SAN ANTONIO — Patients with moderate to severe persistent allergic asthma who were treated with omalizumab experienced greater improvements in lung function compared with those treated with placebo, according to findings from a post hoc analysis presented at the CHEST Annual Meeting, held October 6-10, 2018, in San Antonio, Texas.

Researchers conducted the analysis to extend findings from pooled post hoc analyses that indicated lung function benefits in patients with moderate to severe allergic asthma after 28 to 52 weeks of omalizumab treatment. Specifically, the current study investigated the short-term effects after 16 weeks of treatment with omalizumab.

A total of 2 phase 3 trials with 16-week omalizumab treatment data in moderate and severe allergic asthma were included in the analysis. Patients age ≥12 years were randomly assigned to either omalizumab (n=542) or placebo (n=529). At baseline, the mean (standard deviation) forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) was 2320 mL (671; 68.2%±14.8% predicted) in the omalizumab group and 2353 mL (694; 67.7%±14.3% predicted) in the placebo group. Comparatively, the mean (standard deviation) forced vital capacity values at baseline were 3306 mL (919) in the omalizumab group and 3349 mL (968) in the placebo group.

At 16-week follow-up, there was significantly greater improvement in FEV1 values from baseline in patients taking omalizumab (least squares mean [LSM] difference 82 mL; 95% CI, 38-127 mL; P =.0003). Additionally, treatment with omalizumab was associated with a significantly greater improvement in percent predicted FEV1 (LSM difference 2.4; 95% CI, 1.2-3.6; P =.0001) as well as improvement in forced vital capacity compared with placebo (LSM difference 61 mL; 95% CI 2-120 mL; P =.04).

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“Findings from this post hoc analysis demonstrate significant and rapid improvements in lung function in patients with moderate-to-severe persistent allergic asthma treated with omalizumab as early as 16 weeks,” the researchers concluded. “These data extend prior post-hoc findings demonstrating longer-term lung function benefit in patients following 28-52 weeks of treatment with omalizumab compared with placebo.”

Disclosures: Several authors report financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies.

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Hanania N, Lanier B, Iqbal A, Haselkorn T, Yoo B. Significant improvement in lung functioning following 16 weeks of omalizumab treatment: pooled analyses in patients with moderate-to-severe allergic asthma. Presented at: CHEST Annual Meeting 2018; October 6-10, 2018; San Antonio, TX.