Good Response to Omalizumab at 16 Weeks Is Predictive

Response to omalizumab at 16 weeks predicts continued persistent response for allergic asthma

THURSDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- For the majority of patients, response to omalizumab is an effective predictor of continuing persistent response to omalizumab, according to a study published online Jan. 21 in Allergy.

Jean Bousquet, M.D., Ph.D., from the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire in Montpellier, France, and colleagues studied 400 patients aged 12 to 75, with severe allergic asthma who were treated for 32 weeks. Of the patients, 272 received optimized asthma therapy (OAT) along with omalizumab, and 128 received just OAT. Response, defined as a physician's global evaluation of treatment effectiveness (GETE) rating of excellent or good, or nonresponse, defined as a GETE rating of moderate, poor, or worsening, was evaluated at weeks 16 and 32.

The researchers found that, for 83.3 percent of patients receiving OAT plus omalizumab, the physician's GETE at week 16 predicted the persistency of responders or nonresponders at week 32. Omalizumab-treated responders manifested improvements in exacerbation rates, hospitalizations, total emergency visits, and Asthma Control Questionnaire overall scores. OAT patients demonstrated lower persistency of response and higher persistency of nonresponse than omalizumab patients (64.3 and 90.5 percent, respectively).

"This study demonstrates that response to omalizumab, as assessed by an investigator's GETE at 16 weeks, is an effective indicator of persistent response in patients with uncontrolled severe persistent allergic (IgE-mediated) asthma and supports practice guidance for identifying clinical responders to omalizumab treatment after 16-week therapy," the authors write.

This study was sponsored by Novartis Pharma AG; several authors disclosed financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies, including Novartis.

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