Effects of omalizumab, a humanized monoclonal anti-IgE antibody, on nasal reactivity to allergen and local IgE synthesis

Jonathan Corren, David Diaz-Sanchez, Andrew Saxon, Yamo Deniz, James Reimann, Don Sinclair, Teresa Davancaze, Daniel Adelman
Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology 2004, 93 (3): 243-8

BACKGROUND: Treatment with omalizumab has been shown to reduce serum free IgE concentrations and to have beneficial effects on allergic airway disease. However, its effect on IgE synthesis is unknown.

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether omalizumab therapy affects nasal reactivity to allergen and local IgE production.

METHODS: Nineteen patients with perennial allergic rhinitis were treated with intravenous omalizumab every 2 weeks for 26 weeks in an open-label study. Serum free and total IgE concentrations were measured at baseline and every 2 weeks throughout the study. Nasal challenge to dust mite allergen was performed at baseline and after 12 and 24 weeks of treatment. Nasal lavage fluid obtained before and after each nasal challenge was evaluated for mite-specific antibodies, plaque-forming cells, and productive epsilon messenger RNA (mRNA).

RESULTS: During treatment, serum free IgE concentrations were decreased by 97% to 99%, and the nasal response to allergen challenge was significantly reduced on days 80 and 164. The postchallenge increase in nasal lavage mite specific IgE was significantly reduced by treatment with omalizumab on day 168. IgE plaque-forming cells and productive epsilon mRNA were not significantly affected by omalizumab treatment.

CONCLUSIONS: Omalizumab treatment markedly reduced serum free IgE and the clinical response to nasal allergen challenge. However, the absence of an effect on IgE-secreting B cells and epsilon mRNA in nasal lavage fluid suggests that omalizumab treatment for 6 months does not significantly modulate synthesis of nasal IgE.

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