Omalizumab significantly lowered the number of colds in inner-city children with allergic asthma, findings from a study presented at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) 2016 Annual Meeting showed.
Omalizumab (Xolair; Genentech and Novartis) is an antiasthmatic (IgE blocker) currently indicated for chronic idiopathic urticaria in symptomatic patients despite H1-antihistamine treatment and moderate to severe persistent asthma in adults with a (+) skin test or in vitro reactivity to a perennial aeroallergen and whose symptoms are inadequately controlled by inhaled corticosteroids.
The PROSE (Preventative Omalizumab or Step-up Therapy for Severe Fall Exacerbations) randomized study conducted by the Inner-City Asthma Consortium (ICAC) administered 478 children 3 types of asthma treatment during the fall. The control group received guidelines-based asthma care, and 2 additional groups received this care plus fluticasone (Flovent) or omalizumab.
The children were monitored for cold symptoms such as runny nose, cough, or sore throat; a total of 1,034 cases of symptomatic colds were identified. The data showed children who were given omalizumab had a 27% decrease in cold incidence vs. children receiving only guidelines-based asthma care. The children who were given fluticasone did not exhibit a significant change in cold incidence. This data adds to previous studies that showed short- and long-term treatment with omalizumab reduces seasonal asthma attacks in inner-city children aged 6-17 years old. Lower IgE levels have been associated with higher interferon responses, which are important in protecting against viruses.
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