Omalizumab was effective in treating adults with severe refractory asthma for up to 48 weeks, possibly exerting anti-inflammatory effects on small airways and reversing airway remodeling, according to recent study results.

Researchers in Japan conducted a prospective, observational study of 31 adults (mean age, 55 years; 21 women) with severe refractory asthma despite using multiple therapies including high-dose inhaled corticosteroids (1,432 ± 581 mcg per day fluticasone propionate equivalent).

In 26 patients who completed 48 weeks of treatment, Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire scores and peak expiratory flow values displayed significant and continuous improvement (P<.001 for all comparisons).

“Omalizumab is effective for adults with severe refractory asthma and … it can reverse airway remodeling,” the researchers concluded. “Despite several limitations … this study may provide new and clinically important information on omalizumab treatment for patients with the most severe asthma.”