Xolair (omalizumab) is a new option for the treatment of severe allergic asthma. The drug binds to IgE-antibodies, and therefore prevents their binding to and activation of basophile leucocytes and mast cells, preventing worsening of asthma symptoms.
It has been demonstrated that omalizumab reduces the frequency of severe cases of acute asthmatic excacerbations with 0.2-0.7 per year compared to placebo. Furthermore, statistic significant improvements of life quality (QoL) of the patients have been shown. The indication of Xolair is as add-on therapy for adults and children > 12 yrs. with severe persistent allergic asthma, who have had several serious documented asthmatic exacerbations despite treatment with high-dose inhalation steroids on a daily basis and a long-acting inhaled β2-agonist. It is estimated that omalizumab is indicated for approximately 1000 patients in Denmark. Omalizumab is administered as subcutaneous injection and is restricted for hospital use only.
Xolair was marketed December 5, 2005 as powder and solvent for solution for injection 150 mg. According to the manufacturer, the annual cost will be approximately DKK 35,000-150,000 depending on body weight and baseline IgE (cost price for the pharmacy is DKK 2814.20 per ampoule).
Last modified: December 19th 2005