Objective: The efficacy of omalizumab in severe asthma has been widely demonstrated. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of omalizumab in a real-life setting in Spain, particularly in those patients with immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels out of range.
Methods: Totally 266 uncontrolled severe asthma patients receiving high-dose inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) plus long-acting β2-agonist (LABA) were recruited. Main efficacy outcomes were asthma exacerbation rate (AER), asthma control test (ACT), and global evaluation of treatment effectiveness (GETE).
Results: AER was reduced from 3.6 (3.6) in previous year to 0.67 (1.2) at 4 months (p < .05) and to 1.04 (1.8) at 2 years (p < .05). ACT increased significantly from 14.3 (4.7) at baseline to 18.4 (4.4) at 4 months (p < .05) and to 20.3 (4.0) (p < .05) at 2 years. After 4 months, 74.6% of patients had reached a good or excellent rate on the GETE scale (p < .05). This rate continued increasing up to 81.6% at 2 years. These efficacy results were similar for patients with "off-label" IgE > 700 IU/ml. At follow-up, maintenance treatment with oral steroids was discontinued in a considerable number of patients: from 89 to 19 (p < .05). Omalizumab was discontinued because of lack of efficacy only in 28/266 (10.5%) patients. Overall, 30 patients (11.4%) reported adverse events. Severe adverse events were not observed.
Conclusion: This real-life study confirms that omalizumab is very efficacious and very well tolerated in patients with uncontrolled severe asthma. Results did not vary in the subgroup of patients with IgE levels >700 IU/ml.