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 (XolairGenentech 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.

RELATED: FDA to Review Xolair Pediatric Indication for Allergic Asthma

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. 

For more information visit