Therapy of allergic bronchial asthma with omalizumab - an anti-IgE monoclonal antibody

Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2003 Apr;3(2):371-6.


The immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibody plays a central role in the allergic immune responses, such as those which characterise allergic bronchial asthma. The ability to reduce circulating IgE by using anti-IgE antibodies represents a novel therapeutic approach for IgE-mediated allergic diseases. Omalizumab (rhuMAb-E25/Xolair Genentech, USA/Tanox, Inc., USA/Novartis Pharma AG, Switzerland) is a non-anaphylactogen humanised murine monoclonal antibody which binds to circulating IgE. Therapeutic use of an anti-IgE antibody in the treatment of asthma was first suggested in preliminary studies in which omalizumab demonstrated efficacy in attenuating both the early- and late-phase bronchial responses to inhaled allergens in atopic subjects. Treatment with omalizumab has demonstrated both a significant beneficial effect on a number of measures, and a favourable safety profile. It reduces the frequency of asthma exacerbations and the need for inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs), and improves asthma symptoms, lung function and quality of life. The anti-IgE approach to asthma treatment has a number of further potential advantages, such as the treatment of other concomitant atopic diseases (allergic conjunctivitis and rhinitis, atopic dermatitis and food allergy), regardless of the type of allergic sensitisation (seasonal or perennial). On the basis of several studies, omalizumab is likely to provide a new strategy for treating atopic asthma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Asthma / etiology*
  • Asthma / therapy*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / complications*
  • Hypersensitivity / therapy*
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology*
  • Immunoglobulin E / physiology
  • Omalizumab


  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Omalizumab
  • Immunoglobulin E