Biologicals targeting immunoglobulin E (IgE), such as omalizumab, or T helper (TH) 2 cell cytokines, including interleukin-4 (IL-4), IL-5 and IL-13, have been tested for different allergic disorders. Omalizumab has showed to be effective in moderate-to-severe allergic asthma, allergic rhinitis, chronic urticaria, atopic dermatitis and as an adjunct treatment to specific immunotherapy. Many other biologicals are currently being assessed for their efficacy in certain allergic disease subsets.
Other widely used biological agents, such as antibodies directed against TNF-α, CD20 or the interleukin-6 receptor, increasingly gain access to wider areas of clinical medicine, including clinical immunology. Such therapies not only may serve to better manage the concerned disease but they also provide precious insight into these pathologies and the human immune system. The use of biologicals will undoubtedly even more increase in the years to come.
Although biological agents are currently providing outstanding support in multiple immune-mediated diseases, a better understanding of their fine mechanisms of action, their long-term effects, and their adverse effects, will need the collaboration of a large network of clinicians and researchers working on immunology and allergology. Having recognized the importance of these above-mentioned issues on biologicals and with the endorsement of the Executive Committee of the EAACI, an Interest Group (IG) on Biologicals has been established within the EAACI.
The first business meeting of this IG was held during the Annual Meeting of the EAACI in Geneva, Switzerland.
This IG on Biologicals would like to foster the following research and clinical subjects:
- To stimulate basic and clinical research in the area of biologicals, especially the ones used for the treatment of immune-mediated diseases and for immunotherapy.
- To facilitate the scientific exchange between networks of clinicians and researchers interested in this topic.
- To create a comprehensive database with conclusive and outstanding data on desired and adverse effects of biologicals.
- To formulate guidelines for future research and clinical trials on short, medium and long-term effects of biologicals.
Examples of the ongoing activities of IG Biologicals are listed here:
- State-of-the-art review on the use of biologicals in allergic disorders,which can be accessed here.
- Review of the adverse reactions to biologicals and their medical management, which can be accessed here
Comments and suggestions are highly appreciated. New members are welcome and invited to join the interest group!
Last updated 04 June 2015