Study finds asthma drug effective in treating severe dermatitis

February 7, 2006

Macon, Ga. -- Results of a study conducted by a group of dermatologists here show that sufferers of severe persistent dermatitis may find Xolair (omalizumab) to be more effective than standard treatments.

Macon, Ga. -- Results of a study conducted by a group of dermatologists here show that sufferers of severe persistent dermatitis may find Xolair (omalizumab) to be more effective than standard treatments.

Xolair, a monoclonal antibody administered by injection, is approved for the treatment of asthma in patients 12 years of age or older who have IgE levels up to 700 IU/mL. It is designed to bind to IgE, a naturally occurring antibody, and prevent it from triggering the release of chemicals that provoke asthma and allergy attacks.

Joshua E. Lane, M.D. of Dermatologic Surgery Specialists in Macon, and his colleagues used Xolair to treat three patients aged 10 to 13 who had severe refractory dermatitis and IgE levels ranging from 1990 to 6120 IU/mL. None of the three showed improvement with conventional therapies such as topical and oral steroids, oral antibiotics, antihistamines or other more potent agents.

Injections of Xolair in combination with some of these other therapies, however, produced significant improvements in all three patients, the study reports.

The study, which appeared in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, concludes that there is "no perfect single therapy" for severe recalcitrant dermatitis and that Xolair "represents an additional treatment tool" with which to combat the disease.

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