Asthma Phenotype Impacts Omalizumab Effectiveness

Omalizumab is more beneficial to patients with early-onset allergic asthma and severe asthma with frequent exacerbations than in those with other phenotypes of asthma, according to a recent study.

Noting the need for a better understanding of asthma phenotypes in order to guide treatment choice, researchers conducted an observational, retrospective, multicenter study of 345 patients with uncontrolled persistent severe asthma who achieved control after 1 year of treatment with omalizumab.

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The patients were categorized based on asthma phenotypes. Overall, 29.9% of patients had severe asthma with frequent exacerbations, 23.7% had early onset allergic asthma, 18% had steroid-dependent severe asthma, 13.6% had hypereosinophilic severe asthma, 9.3% had asthma with persistent airway obstruction, and 5.5% had severe asthma in obese women.

After 1 year of treatment with omalizumab, 55.4% of patients were asymptomatic and 44.6% had symptoms 1-2 days per week, and non-severe asthma exacerbations and work absenteeism days decreased, as well as unscheduled visits to primary care providers and specialists due to asthma.

“[The] most common phenotypes in [severe asthma patients] treated with omalizumab who achieved full control were early onset allergic asthma and severe asthma with frequent exacerbations,” the authors concluded.

They noted that the results of their study highlight the need to use treatment options in the appropriate subsets of patients with asthma in order to avoid unnecessary costs and adverse events.

—Michael Potts


Campo P, Soto-Campos JG, Moreira A, Ignacia D. Phenotypes related with the clinical improvement of patients treated with omalizumab in routine clinical practice. Fenoma study [presented at EAACI Conference 2017]. Helsinki, Finland. June 18, 2017.