IgE (Immunoglobulin E) is a human antibody that plays a central role in the pathogenesis of allergic diseases, including asthma.
Elevated circulating IgE levels can be found in many asthmatic patients, and these immunoglobulins can contribute to bronchoconstriction in allergic asthmatic patients when an allergen is inhaled.
Blocking IgEs can be an effective treatment for asthma, and Omalizumab is the name of an anti-IgE drug able to block the action of IgEs on the airways. The therapeutic efficacy of Omalizumab is more evident in patients with severe, persistent allergic asthma not responding to high dose corticosteroids, in which the anti IgE makes possible a reduction of the corticosteroid dosage. The drug is administered via subcutaneous injection every 2 to 4 weeks.