Scientific publications

Predicting Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria Symptom Return after Omalizumab Treatment Discontinuation: Exploratory Analysis

Ferrer M (1), Giménez-Arnau A (2), Saldana D (3), Janssens N (3), Balp MM (3), Khalil S (3), Risson V (3).

(1) Department of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Clinica Universidad de Navarra, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Navarra (IdiSNA), RETIC de Asma, Reacciones adversas y Alérgicas (ARADYAL), Pamplona, Spain.
(2) Dermatology Department, Hospital del Mar-Parc de Salut Mar, IMIM, Universitat Autònoma y Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain.
(3) Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland.

Magazine: The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Practice

Date: Apr 12, 2018

Allergology and Immunology Department


Omalizumab is highly effective in controlling chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) symptoms; however, patients can experience symptom return upon treatment discontinuation. Pivotal clinical trials have identified two categories of patients who experience symptom return: rapid and slow.


To identify potential predictors of the speed of symptom return after stopping omalizumab treatment.


Phase III randomized controlled trial (RCT) data from ASTERIA I (n=319; 6x4-weekly injections of omalizumab 75, 150, 300 mg or placebo; NCT01287117) and ASTERIA II (n=323; 3x4-weekly injections of omalizumab 75, 150, 300 mg or placebo; NCT01292473) were pooled to identify predictors of symptom return after stopping omalizumab treatment (16-week follow-up).

The least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) regularization regression model was used to select predictive variables and relapse probability was represented using heatmap visualizations. Model accuracy was tested using data from the GLACIAL phase III RCT (n=336; 6x4-weekly injections of omalizumab 300 mg or placebo; NCT0126493).


Of 746 variables assessed, two were selected by the model as predictors of symptom return: baseline UAS7 (urticaria activity score over 7 days) and early area above the curve (AAC - determined by plotting the UAS7 scores across time points). Results suggest high baseline UAS7 and low UAS7 AAC (slow decrease of symptoms) indicate higher probability of rapid symptom return than low baseline UAS7 and high UAS7 AAC.


These results suggest that the probability of rapid symptom return in CSU patients who discontinue treatment with omalizumab can be estimated based on baseline UAS7 and early treatment response.

CITATION  J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2018 Apr 12. pii: S2213-2198(18)30273-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jaip.2018.04.003.

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