Omalizumab, an anti-IgE antibody, in the treatment of adults and adolescents with perennial allergic rhinitis

Paul Chervinsky, Thomas Casale, Robert Townley, Ita Tripathy, Simon Hedgecock, Angel Fowler-Taylor, Henry Shen, Howard Fox
Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology 2003, 91 (2): 160-7

BACKGROUND: Treatment with omalizumab, an anti-IgE antibody, improves symptoms and quality of life in patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis but has not previously been investigated in patients with perennial symptoms.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of omalizumab in the treatment of perennial allergic rhinitis (PAR).

METHODS: Two hundred eighty-nine patients (aged 12 to 70 years) with moderate-to-severe symptomatic PAR were randomized to 16 weeks' double-blind subcutaneous treatment with either placebo (n = 145) or omalizumab (at least 0.016 mg/kg/IgE [IU/mL] per 4 weeks; n = 144). The primary efficacy variable was the mean daily nasal severity score, as determined from patient daily diary cards. Secondary efficacy variables included use of rescue antihistamine, rhinoconjunctivitis-specific quality of life (RQoL), and patients' evaluation of treatment efficacy. Safety and tolerability were evaluated from adverse event reports and laboratory safety parameters.

RESULTS: Throughout 16 weeks of treatment, the mean daily nasal severity score was significantly lower in omalizumab-treated patients than with placebo (P < 0.001). The improvement in symptoms when taking omalizumab was paralleled by a reduction in use of rescue antihistamine (P < or = 0.005 overall) and improved RQoL relative to placebo. Patients' evaluation of treatment efficacy significantly favored omalizumab over placebo (P = 0.001). Omalizumab therapy was well tolerated. There were no safety concerns.

CONCLUSIONS: Omalizumab was safe and well tolerated in the treatment of patients with PAR, providing effective control of symptoms and improved RQoL while simultaneously minimizing reliance on rescue antihistamines.

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