Background: We have previously shown that omalizumab, a recombinant humanized monoclonal anti-IgE antibody, reduces asthma exacerbations and decreases inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) requirement in patients with severe allergic asthma who were symptomatic despite moderate-to-high doses of ICSs.
Objective: The aim of the present study was to assess the effects of omalizumab on asthma-related quality of life (QOL).
Methods: These analyses were part of a multicenter, 52-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study assessing the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of subcutaneous omalizumab (> or =0.016 mg/kg of IgE [in international unit per milliliter] per 4 weeks) in 525 adults with severe allergic asthma. A 16-week steroid-stable phase was followed by a 12-week steroid-reduction phase and a 24-week double-blind extension phase. The effect of treatment on asthma-related QOL was evaluated by using the Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (AQLQ) administered at baseline and at weeks 16, 28, and 52.
Results: The 2 treatment groups were comparable in terms of baseline AQLQ scores. At weeks 16, 28, and 52, omalizumab-treated patients demonstrated statistically significant improvements across all AQLQ domains, as well as in overall score. Moreover, a greater proportion of patients receiving omalizumab achieved a clinically meaningful improvement in asthma-related QOL during each phase of the study. Greater than 50% of both patients and investigators rated treatment similarly with omalizumab as excellent or good compared with less than 40% of placebo recipients.
Conclusion: In patients requiring moderate-to-high doses of ICSs for severe allergic asthma, the measurably improved disease control afforded by add-on omalizumab therapy is paralleled by clinically meaningful improvements in asthma-related QOL.