Omalizumab may significantly improve lung function in adolescents with moderate to severe uncontrolled asthma, according to study results published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.

Omalizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody against immunoglobulin E that was approved for the treatment of asthma in 2013 and has demonstrated significant improvement in lung function in adolescents in real-world studies. However, the effect of omalizumab on the lung function of adolescent patients in placebo-controlled trials has not been established. Therefore, researchers assessed the effect of omalizumab on lung function and eosinophil counts in adolescents aged 12 to 17 years with uncontrolled moderate to severe allergic asthma using a post-hoc analysis of 8 randomized trials. Of 340 adolescents, 203 received omalizumab and 137 received placebo.

Omalizumab increased all baseline lung function variables more than placebo by the end of the study (3.0% [P =.035], 120.9 mL [P =.009], and 101.5 mL [P =.033] for percent predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 second [FEV1], absolute FEV1, and forced vital capacity, respectively). In addition, the least squares mean difference demonstrated a greater reduction in eosinophil counts with omalizumab compared with placebo (P =.001).

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“The significant improvements in lung function observed in patients receiving omalizumab emphasize the potential effect of omalizumab in patients who remain uncontrolled on current therapies and the need to optimize treatment early in the disease course,” the researchers concluded.

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Disclosure: This clinical trial was supported by Genentech, Inc., a member of the Roche Group and Novartis Pharma AG. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures.


Busse WW, Humbert M, Haselkorn T, et al. Effect of omalizumab on lung function and eosinophil levels in adolescents with moderate-to-severe allergic asthma [published online November 21, 2019]. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. doi:10.1016/j.anai.2019.11.016