Omalizumab in children with uncontrolled allergic asthma: Review of clinical trial and real-world experience
Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood. Allergen sensitization and high frequencies of comorbid allergic diseases are characteristic of severe asthma in children. Omalizumab, an anti-IgE mAb, is the first targeted biologic therapeutic approved for the treatment of moderate-to-severe persistent allergic asthma (AA) that remains uncontrolled despite high-dose inhaled corticosteroids plus other controller medications. Since its initial licensing for use in adults and adolescents 12 years of age and older, the clinical efficacy, safety, and tolerability of omalizumab have been demonstrated in several published clinical trials in children aged 6 to less than 12 years with moderate-to-severe AA. These studies supported the approval of the pediatric indication (use in children aged ≥6 years) by the European Medicines Agency in 2009 and the US Food and Drug Administration in 2016. After this most recent change in licensing, we review the outcomes from clinical trials in children with persistent AA receiving omalizumab therapy and observational studies from the past 7 years of clinical experience in Europe. Data sources were identified by using PubMed in 2016. Guidelines and management recommendations and materials from the recent US Food and Drug Administration's Pediatric Advisory Committee meeting are also reviewed.