Up to 5% of patients with asthma have severe disease1,2 (i.e. around 250,000 people in the UK3). This means their asthma remains uncontrolled despite optimal treatment with high-dose inhaled corticosteroid plus additional therapy or a regular oral corticosteroid,4 and with no other explanations such as poor adherence to therapy and other diagnoses such as vocal cord dysfunction. ▼Omalizumab (pronounced oh-ma-liz-oo-mab) (Xolair - Novartis) is a monoclonal antibody to IgE that is available in the UK as add-on therapy for people aged 12 years and over with severe persistent asthma that has an important allergic component. What benefits, if any, does omalizumab offer to such patients?
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