Anti-IgE antibodies for the treatment of IgE-mediated allergic diseases

Adv Immunol. 2007;93:63-119. doi: 10.1016/S0065-2776(06)93002-8.


The pharmacological purposes of the anti-IgE therapy are to neutralize IgE and to inhibit its production to attenuate type I hypersensitivity reactions. The therapy is based on humanized IgG1 antibodies that bind to free IgE and to membrane-bound IgE on B cells, but not to IgE bound by the high-affinity IgE.Fc receptors on basophils and mast cells or by the low-affinity IgE.Fc receptors on B cells. After nearly 20 years since inception, therapeutic anti-IgE antibodies (anti-IgE) have been studied in about 30 Phase II and III clinical trials in many allergy indications, and a lead antibody, omalizumab, has been approved for treating patients (12 years and older) with moderate-to-severe allergic asthma. Anti-IgE has confirmed the roles of IgE in the pathogenesis of asthma and helped define the concept "allergic asthma" in clinical practice. It has been shown to be safe and efficacious in treating pediatric allergic asthma and treating allergic rhinitis and is being investigated for treating peanut allergy, atopic dermatitis, latex allergy, and others. It has potential for use to combine with specific and rush immunotherapy for increased safety and efficacy. Anti-IgE thus appears to provide a prophylactic and therapeutic option for moderate to severe cases of many allergic diseases and conditions in which IgE plays a significant role. This chapter reviews the evolution of the anti-IgE concept and the clinical studies of anti-IgE on various disease indications, and presents a comprehensive analysis on the multiple intricate immunoregulatory pharmacological effects of anti-IgE. Finally, it reviews other approaches that target IgE or IgE-expressing B cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Allergic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic / immunology
  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Desensitization, Immunologic
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / drug therapy*
  • Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology*
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Omalizumab


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