Massanari, M., Holgate, S.T., Busse, W.W., Jimenez, P., Kianifard, F. and Zeldin, R.
Effect of omalizumab on peripheral blood eosinophilia in allergic asthma
Respiratory Medicine, 104, (2), . (doi:10.1016/j.rmed.2009.09.011). (PMID:19846286).
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Eosinophilia is an established marker of asthma-related inflammation. We assessed the effect of omalizumab on peripheral blood eosinophil counts using a pooled analysis of data from five randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in patients with moderate-to-severe persistent allergic asthma receiving moderate-to-high-dose inhaled corticosteroids (omalizumab, n=1136; placebo, n=1100). Relationships between omalizumab, peripheral blood eosinophils, serum free IgE concentrations and clinical outcomes were explored. Baseline mean eosinophil counts were similar in each treatment group. Post-treatment eosinophil counts were significantly reduced from baseline in the omalizumab group (p<0.0001) but were not significantly different in the placebo group. Greater reductions in eosinophil counts were observed in patients who had post-treatment free IgE levels <50ng/mL. Three studies included steroid-stable and steroid-reduction phases. At the end of each phase in these studies, a significantly greater reduction in eosinophil counts was achieved in the omalizumab group compared with the placebo group (p<0.0001). A consistent pattern of improved clinical outcomes/decreased eosinophils and worsened clinical outcomes/increased eosinophils was observed for both omalizumab and placebo treatment groups. The findings from our analysis of a large patient population are consistent with earlier reports of the inhibitory effect of omalizumab on eosinophils.
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