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Open Access Efficacy and safety of omalizumab in children and adolescents with moderate-to-severe asthma: A systematic literature review


There are limited pediatric data about the use of omalizumab, especially the effectiveness and safety of omalizumab in the real-world management of allergic asthma.


The objective of this study was to summarize the safety and efficacy of omalizumab in both randomized clinical trials (RCT) used for U.S. Food and Drug Administration registration and real-world studies (RWS) based on clinical care of children with moderate-to-severe asthma.


Studies that evaluated omalizumab use in patients <18 years old and with asthma, published between January 2003 and October 2016, were retrieved from medical literature data bases. Assessed outcomes included the following: exacerbation rates, spirometric indices, changes in asthma medication use, asthma control, patient-reported outcomes, and health care resource utilization.


A total of five RWS were identified; outcomes reported were compared with three omalizumab RCTs. Overall, the mean rate of annual exacerbations was significantly lower after 6 months to 2 years of treatment with omalizumab in both RCTs and RWS. In two RCTs and three RWS, inhaled corticosteroid use was significantly reduced in patients who used omalizumab. Similar reductions in the use of rescue medication were also observed in the RCTs and RWS on omalizumab. Real-world evidence demonstrated improvement in forced expiratory volume in the first second of expiration (% predicted) in patients treated with omalizumab as well as significant improvement in the level of asthma control observed over 1 year. There also was evidence that omalizumab treatment reduced health care resource utilization, including fewer hospitalizations, emergency department visits, and unscheduled medical visits. Safety outcomes in all five RWS showed no new safety signals and demonstrated that omalizumab was well tolerated.


Overall, RCT evidence strongly supported omalizumab efficacy and safety as add-on treatment in children 6 to 11 years old with moderate-to-severe persistent allergic asthma. RWS data confirmed these findings in an extended patient population of children and adolescents that is more generalizable to the actual day-to-day management of these patients.

Keywords: Allergic asthma; asthma control; corticosteroids; exacerbations; omalizumab; pediatric; pulmonary function; real-world; steroid sparing; treatment outcome

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: David Geffeb School of Medicine at University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2017

This article was made available online on June 19, 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Efficacy and safety of omalizumab in children and adolescents with moderate-to-severe asthma: A systematic literature review ".

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  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

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    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

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    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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