Cookie Notice

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Review our cookies information for more details.

skip to main content

Omalizumab Increases the Reaction Threshold for Peanut and Other Common Food Allergies

AAAAI News Release

February 25, 2024

Candace Archie, Communications & Public Relations Manager
(414) 272-6071

Study highlights a valuable option for safe and effective food allergy treatment.

Washington, DC – Sixteen weeks of omalizumab results in a higher tolerated threshold for multiple food allergies according to new research presented today at the 2024 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) Annual Meeting and published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
“Food allergies affect millions of individuals in the U.S., and those impacted face a daily threat of life-threatening reactions. This can lead to substantial anxiety with a profound effect on quality of life. To remain safe, constant vigilance is required and even then, accidental exposures are very common,” said Dr. Robert A. Wood, MD, FAAAAI, lead author of the study. “The OUtMATCH study demonstrated that omalizumab (Xolair) significantly increased the threshold for reaction in most patients for peanut and the six other foods studied, enough to provide real protection against small, accidental exposures. We are extraordinarily excited by this advance in the world of food allergy.”

The results found that in multi-food allergic patients as young as a year old, 16 weeks of omalizumab treatment was superior to placebo in increasing the reaction threshold for peanut and other common food allergens to levels that would likely protect against reactions upon accidental exposure. As food allergies are common, this study highlights a valuable option for safe and effective food allergy treatment.

Researchers screened 1- to 55-year-old participants who were allergic to peanuts and two additional study-specified foods. Study inclusion required food challenge reactivity to be less than 100 mg of peanut protein and less than 300 mg of two other foods. Participants were then randomized to receive 16 weeks of omalizumab or a placebo, after which the food challenges were repeated to find the proportion of participants who could ingest 600 mg or more of peanut protein and 1000 mg or more of the other foods without dose-limiting symptoms. The first 60 participants entered a 24-week open-label extension.

Of the 462 screened participants, 180 were randomized and 120 were treated with omalizumab. Of the omalizumab-treated participants 66.7% achieved the primary endpoint compared to only 6.7% of the participants who received a placebo. Most participants maintained or increased their reaction threshold during the open-label extension, and the treatment success was associated with higher total IgE, smaller skin test size and higher tolerated baseline food challenge dose. Safety outcomes were similar between the groups. The study was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of NIH. Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation also supported the work.

Visit the AAAAI to learn more about food allergies. Research presented at the AAAAI Annual Meeting, February 23-26 in Washington, DC, is published in an online supplement to The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) is the leading membership organization of more than 7,100 allergists, asthma specialists, clinical immunologists, allied health professionals and other professionals with a special interest in the research and treatment of allergic and immunologic diseases. Established in 1943, the AAAAI has more than 7,100 members in the United States, Canada and 72 other countries and is the go-to resource for patients living with allergies, asthma and immune deficiency disorders.