Esophagus to Small Intestine

N Engl J Med. 2024;390(10):889–99

Wood RA, Togias A, Sicherer SH, Shreffler WG, Kim EH, Jones SM, Leung DYM, Vickery BP, Bird JA, Spergel JM, Iqbal A, Olsson J, Ligueros-Saylan M, Uddin A, Calatroni A, Huckabee CM, Rogers NH, Yovetich N, Dantzer J, Mudd K, Wang J, Groetch M, Pyle D, Keet CA, Kulis M, Sindher SB, Long A, Scurlock AM, Lanser BJ, Lee T, Parrish C, Brown-Whitehorn T, Spergel AKR, Veri M, Hamrah SD, Brittain E, Poyser J, Wheatley LM, Chinthrajah RS

Omalizumab for the treatment of multiple food allergies


Background: Food allergies are common and are associated with substantial morbidity; the only approved treat-ment is oral immunotherapy for peanut allergy.
Methods: In this trial, the authors assessed whether omalizumab, a monoclonal anti-immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibody, would be effective and safe as monotherapy in patients with multiple food allergies. Persons 1–55 years of age who were allergic to peanuts and at least 2 other trial-specified foods (cashew, milk, egg, walnut, wheat, and hazelnut) were screened. Inclusion required a reaction to a food challenge of ≤ 100 mg of peanut protein and ≤ 300 mg of the 2 other foods. Participants were randomly assigned, in a 2:1 ratio, to receive omalizumab or placebo administered subcutaneously (with the dose based on weight and IgE levels) every 2–4 weeks for 16–20 weeks, after which the challenges were repeated. The primary end point was ingestion of peanut protein in a single dose of ≥ 600 mg without dose-limiting symptoms. The 3 key secondary end points were the consumption of cashew, of milk, and of egg in single doses of at least 1000 mg each without dose-limiting symptoms. The first 60 participants (59 of whom were children or adolescents) who completed this first stage were enrolled in a 24-week open-label extension.
Results: Of the 462 persons who were screened, 180 underwent randomization. The analysis population consisted of the 177 children and adolescents (1–17 years of age). A total of 79 of the 118 participants (67%) receiving omalizumab met the primary end-point criteria, as compared with 4 of the 59 participants (7%) receiving placebo (p < 0.001). Results for the key secondary end points were consistent with those of the primary end point (cashew, 41% vs. 3%; milk, 66% vs. 10%; egg, 68% vs. 0%; p < 0.001 for all comparisons). Safety end points did not differ between the groups, aside from more injection-site reactions in the omalizumab group.

Conclusions: In persons as young as 1 year of age with multiple food allergies, omalizumab treatment for 16 weeks was superior to placebo in increasing the reaction threshold for peanut and other common food allergens.

R.A. Wood, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA, E-Mail: rwood@jhmi.edu

DOI: 10.1056/nejm2312382

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