Extracorporeal IgE Immunoadsorption in Allergic Asthma: Safety and Efficacy

EBioMedicine. 2017 Mar;17:119-133. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2017.02.007. Epub 2017 Feb 12.


Background: Prevention of IgE-binding to cellular IgE-receptors by anti-IgE (Omalizumab) is clinically effective in allergic asthma, but limited by IgE threshold-levels. To overcome this limitation, we developed a single-use IgE immunoadsorber column (IgEnio). IgEnio is based on a recombinant, IgE-specific antibody fragment and can be used for the specific extracorporeal desorption of IgE.

Objective: To study safety and efficacy of IgEnio regarding the selective depletion of IgE in a randomized, open-label, controlled pilot trial in patients with allergic asthma and to investigate if IgEnio can bind IgE-Omalizumab immune complexes.

Methods: Fifteen subjects were enrolled and randomly assigned to the treatment group (n=10) or to the control group (n=5). Immunoadsorption was done by veno-venous approach, processing the twofold calculated plasma volume during each treatment. A minimum average IgE-depletion of 50% after the last cycle in the intention-to-treat population was defined as primary endpoint. Safety of the treatment was studied as secondary endpoint. In addition, possible changes in allergen-specific sensitivity were investigated, as well as clinical effects by peak flow measurement and symptom-recording. The depletion of IgE-Omalizumab immune complexes was studied in vitro. The study was registered at clinicaltrials.gov (NCT02096237) and conducted from December 2013 to July 2014.

Results: IgE immunoadsorption with IgEnio selectively depleted 86.2% (±5.1% SD) of IgE until the end of the last cycle (p<0.0001). Removal of pollen allergen-specific IgE was associated with a reduction of allergen-specific basophil-sensitivity and prevented increases of allergen-specific skin-sensitivity and clinical symptoms during pollen seasons. IgEnio also depleted IgE-Omalizumab immune complexes in vitro. The therapy under investigation was safe and well-tolerated. During a total of 81 aphereses, 2 severe adverse events (SAE) were recorded, one of which, an episode of acute dyspnea, possibly was related to the treatment and resolved after administration of antihistamines and corticosteroids.

Conclusions: This pilot study indicates that IgE immunoadsorption with IgEnio may be used to treat patients with pollen-induced allergic asthma. Furthermore, the treatment could render allergic patients with highly elevated IgE-levels eligible for the administration of Omalizumab and facilitate the desorption of IgE-Omalizumab complexes. This study was funded by Fresenius Medical Care Deutschland GmbH, Bad Homburg, Germany.

Keywords: Allergy; Asthma; IgE; IgEnio; Immunoadsorption.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / immunology
  • Asthma / blood
  • Asthma / therapy*
  • Blood Component Removal / adverse effects
  • Blood Component Removal / instrumentation
  • Blood Component Removal / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood*
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology
  • Immunosorbent Techniques / adverse effects*
  • Immunosorbent Techniques / instrumentation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Omalizumab / immunology


  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents
  • Omalizumab
  • Immunoglobulin E

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02096237