At the 26th European Academy of Dermatology and Venerology (EADV) Congress, in Geneva, Switzerland, researchers announced that nearly 90% of patients with chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) who responded well to initial Xolair (omalizumab; Novartis) treatment regained symptom control within 12 weeks of re-treatment after a treatment interruption. 

The Phase 3b OPTIMA study (n=314) randomized patients with CSU symptoms to Xolair 150mg or 300mg for 24 weeks. Responders to initial Xolair (having Weekly Urticaria Activity Score [UAS7] ≤6) had an interruption in treatment and were restarted if symptoms returned (UAS7 >16). 

Among the re-treated patients, almost 90% achieved symptom control (UAS7 ≤6) within 3 months. During both dosing periods, Xolair 150mg and 300mg were well-tolerated. 

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Additional study data indicated that 65% of patients in the Xolair 300mg group were well-controlled vs. 15% of patients treated with Xolair 150mg at the end of 24 weeks. The majority of patients initiated on Xolair 150mg required a dose increase to 300mg between Weeks 8–24 of treatment due to lack of symptom control. 

Xolair, an IgE blocker, is currently approved to treat chronic idiopathic urticaria in symptomatic patients despite H1-antihistamine treatment, and to treat moderate-to-severe persistent asthma in patients ≥6 years of age with a (+) skin test or in vitro reactivity to a perennial aeroallergen and whose symptoms are inadequately controlled by inhaled corticosteroids.

Xolair is available as 150mg strength powder per vial for subcutaneous injection after reconstitution.

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