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Systematic review and meta-analysis
Omalizumab decreases exacerbations and allows a step down in daily inhaled corticosteroid dose in adults and children with moderate-to-severe asthma
  1. Neil C Thomson
  1. Institute of Infection, Immunity & Inflammation, University of Glasgow and Respiratory Medicine, Glasgow, UK
  1. Correspondence to: Professor Neil C Thomson, Institute of Infection, Immunity & Inflammation, University of Glasgow and Respiratory Medicine, Gartnavel General Hospital, Glasgow, G12 OYN, UK; neil.thomson{at}

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Asthma is a common chronic disease that affects over 300 million people worldwide. Between 5% and 10% of this population has severe asthma, which often remains uncontrolled despite maximal conventional treatment. Omalizumab is a recombinant humanised monoclonal antibody that binds circulating IgE antibody and decreases allergic, IgE-mediated airway inflammation.1 In the USA and many other countries, omalizumab is approved for the treatment of adults and adolescents aged 12 years and above with moderate-to-severe persistent allergic asthma, whose symptoms are poorly controlled with inhaled corticosteroids (ICS). European approval stipulates that patients should have a history of frequent, severe exacerbations despite receiving ICS in high doses combined with an inhaled long-acting β2 agonist bronchodilator (LABA). The European license also includes children aged …

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  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it was published Online First. The word ‘exacerbation’ has been corrected to ‘exacerbations’ in the article title.

  • Competing interests NCT has participated in advisory boards and/or received consultancy fees from Asmacure, Chiesi and Respivert. He has received lecture fees from Boston Scientific, Chiesi, GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis, and industry-sponsored grant funding to the University of Glasgow from AstraZeneca, Boston Scientific, Genentech, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Pfizer and Synairgen for participating in clinical trials.