Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol 2019 3;15:21. Epub 2019 Apr 3.
1Department of Medicine, Division of Respirology, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON Canada.
Omalizumab, a recombinant humanized monoclonal antibody targeting the IgE molecule, is the first biologic approved for moderate-to-severe allergic asthmatics, who remain uncontrolled despite high dose inhaled corticosteroid and bronchodilators. Steroid-sparing effect of omalizumab has not been demonstrated in asthmatics with persistent airway eosinophilia in a randomised controlled trial till date. From this double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-centred, randomized parallel group design, we report that omalizumab is possibly inadequate to control sputum eosinophilia, and therefore may not have a steroid-sparing effect, especially in those maintained on oral corticosteroids daily. This needs to be confirmed or refuted in a larger trial, which may be a challenge with respect to recruitment, since there are currently three additional biologics available to prescribe. Clinicaltrials.gov, NCT02049294, Registered 30th January 2014, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02049294.