Few data are available to assist clinicians with decisions regarding long-term use of asthma therapies, including omalizumab.Objective
We sought to evaluate the benefit and persistence of response in subjects continuing or withdrawing from long-term omalizumab treatment.Methods
Evaluating the Xolair Persistency Of Response After Long-Term Therapy (XPORT) was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled withdrawal study that included subjects with moderate-to-severe persistent asthma receiving long-term omalizumab. Subjects were randomized by using a hierarchical dynamic randomization scheme to continue their same dose of omalizumab or withdraw to placebo and were then followed every 4 weeks for 1 year. The primary outcome was any protocol-defined severe asthma exacerbation. The secondary outcome was time to first protocol-defined severe asthma exacerbation. Exploratory outcomes included changes in Asthma Control Questionnaire and Asthma Control Test scores.Results
Significantly more subjects in the omalizumab group (67%) had no protocol-defined exacerbation than in the placebo group (47.7%); an absolute difference of 19.3% (95% CI, 5.0%, 33.6%) represents a 40.1% relative difference. Time to first protocol-defined exacerbation analysis revealed a significantly different between-group exacerbation pattern that was consistent with the primary analysis. Subjects continuing omalizumab had significantly better asthma control (mean [SD] change from baseline to week 52: Asthma Control Test score, −1.16 [4.14] vs placebo, −2.88 [5.38], P = .0188; Asthma Control Questionnaire score, 0.22 [0.66] vs placebo, 0.63 [1.13], P = .0039). Discontinuation of omalizumab was associated with an increase in free IgE levels and an increase in basophil expression of the high-affinity IgE receptor. No safety concerns were noted.Conclusion
Continuation of omalizumab after long-term treatment results in continued benefit, as evidenced by improved symptom control and reduced exacerbation risk.