Findings from two separate clinical studies, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology , suggest the monoclonal antibody, omalizumab is highly effective against different types of urticaria.
As part of two investigator-initiated, multicentre, randomised, placebo-controlled trials, researchers from Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin used omalizumab to treat two different patient groups; 61 patients with symptomatic dermographism and 31 patients with cold urticaria, for a period of three months.
They found treatment with omalizumab led to significant improvements in symptoms in both groups of patients, and prevented symptoms in nearly half of all patients with cold urticaria and symptomatic dermographism, even after exposure to relevant stimuli. Treatment was well tolerated in cold urticaria patients unresponsive to antihistamines.
“Our results show that patients with severe forms of physical urticaria can benefit from treatment with omalizumab,” says Prof. Martin Metz. While the drug is licensed in Europe for use in patients with chronic spontaneous urticaria, Prof Metz said “given our data on the drug’s effectiveness in patients with cold urticaria and symptomatic dermographism, we are hopeful that the drug will be made available to both of these patient groups.”