A biologic medicine to treat severe allergic asthma in patients whose symptoms are inadequately controlled on high dose preventer medications is now available to children age six and over on the PBS.
Novartis’ Xolair® (omalizumab) is a humanised monoclonal antibody for subcutaneous injection that selectively binds to immunoglobulin E (IgE), blocking the allergic cascade and reducing the frequency of allergic asthma exacerbations.
Professor Nick Freezer, Medical Director at Monash Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, said the availability of omalizumab was an important addition to the treatment options for younger children with severe allergic asthma.
“The therapy is already subsidised for patients aged 12 years and above, but we will now be able to begin treatment in eligible children at a younger age, helping to meet a significant unmet need,” he said in a company press release.
“The addition of Xolair to the treatment regimen of children with poorly controlled severe allergic asthma with exacerbations and who have IgE of at least 30 IU/mL1 should now be considered,” he added.