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Asthma Drug Helps Desensitize Multiple Food Allergies Faster in Early Studies — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
March 3, 2014

Asthma Drug Helps Desensitize Multiple Food Allergies Faster in Early Studies

By Kelly Young

An early trial suggests that the monoclonal antibody omalizumab can speed up oral immunotherapy in patients with multiple food allergies. Results of the phase 1 safety trial were published in Allergy, Asthma, & Clinical Immunology.

Twenty-five patients aged four years and up with more than one food allergy received omalizumab injections for 8 weeks before starting oral immunotherapy with up to five allergens. Omalizumab continued for another 8 weeks. Allergen doses were escalated according to the patient's tolerance. Then, patients started daily home immunotherapy with continued dose escalation.

Nearly all allergic reactions were mild, but one patient had a severe reaction on home maintenance dose. Three quarters of patients reached their tolerance target at the beginning of the challenge. The median time to achieve the maintenance dose was 18 weeks — 67 weeks earlier than that seen in a previous study that didn't use omalizumab.

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