Omalizumab Improves Lung Function in Persistent Allergic Asthma

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 MPR‘s coverage of CHEST 2018 meeting, taking place in San Antonio, TX. Our on-site staff will be reporting on the latest breaking research and clinical advances in infectious diseases. Check back regularly for highlights from CHEST 2018 meeting.

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. Specifically, the current study investigated the short-term effects after 16 weeks of treatment with omalizumab.

A total of two 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 2320mL (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 3306mL (919) in the omalizumab group and 3349mL (968) in the placebo group.

Related Articles

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).

“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.

Visit MPR‘s conference section for continuous coverage from CHEST 2018.


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.

This article originally appeared on Pulmonology Advisor