Background: Increased serum levels of antigen-specific IgE are often associated with allergic respiratory disorders. RhuMAb-E25, a recombinant humanized monoclonal antibody, decreases free serum IgE by forming biologically inactive immune complexes with free IgE.
Objective: We hypothesized that rhuMAb-E25 would decrease total serum IgE and reduce symptoms.
Methods: Two hundred forty subjects were enrolled into five groups to determine the safety, tolerance, and efficacy of repeated administration of rhuMAb-E25 in adults with ragweed-induced allergic rhinitis and to explore the pharmacodynamic relationship of rhuMAb-E25 and IgE. One hundred eighty-one subjects received an initial intravenous loading dose (day 0, 1 month before ragweed season), followed by administration of rhuMAb-E25 (in mg/kg body weight) of 0.15 mg/kg subcutaneously, 0.15 mg/kg intravenously, or 0.5 mg/kg intravenously on days 7, 14, 28, 42, 56, 70, and 84. A subcutaneous placebo group and an intravenous placebo group were included. The total evaluation time included the 84-day treatment period, followed by a 42-day observation period.
Results: Adverse events were mild, and no differences were observed in the rates between the three active and two placebo treatment groups. Ragweed-specific IgE levels correlated with symptom scores. RhuMAb-E25 decreased serum free IgE levels in a dose- and baseline IgE-dependent fashion. However, only 11 subjects had IgE levels that were suppressed to undetectable levels (< or = 24 ng/ml), a sample too small to demonstrate significant differences and clinical efficacy. Thus the case for efficacy was not proven. Nonetheless, the study confirms that it is safe to repeatedly administer rhuMAb-E25 over a period of months.
Conclusions: Because rhuMAb-E25 decreased serum free IgE in a dose-dependent fashion and because symptom scores correlated with antigen-specific IgE levels, the results suggest that if given in adequate doses, rhuMAb-E25 should be an effective therapy for allergic diseases.