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A step forward in the treatment of chronic urticaria
Date:3/20/2013

ticaria (hives) in patients for whom antihistamines are ineffective.

The research, which has consisted of an international Phase III clinical trial conducted across several centres of research, has run for 7 months and involved 323 patients from different countries. These patients have an average age of 42 and for the most part are women (76%), a description that accurately reflects the profile of patients with chronic urticaria.

At 4-week intervals over a period of three months, participants were randomly given doses of 75,150, and 300mg of Omalizumab or a placebo drug using the double-blind method and their condition monitored. "In week 12, we can see a significant difference between the groups that receive doses of 150mg or 300mg of Omalizumab and those who receive a dose of 75mg or the placebo drug. The itching and the urticaria totally disappeared in 23% of patients administered a dose of 150mg, and in 53% of patients administered 300mg of Omalizumab", explains Dr. Gimnez Arnau. She also adds that "the therapeutic objective is the full remission of symptoms in order to continue the therapy over a number of months before gradually phasing it out, resulting in the complete elimination of the disease".

This drug, for which US and European authorities will begin the registration process for treating this condition, is superior to the immunosupressors currently used to treat serious cases in its very fast effectiveness in 90% of patients and ease of use (once a month), as well as the fact that it has many fewer side effects. If registered, it could be available for use in treating chronic urticaria in 2014.

This is the first of three international clinical trials and, while the results thus far are very promising, further research is required to determine the exact role of this drug, its possible side effects, and the doses to be administered. This research gives hope to many people who have been waiting years for a solution, people who suffer
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Contact: Marta Calsina
mcalsina@imim.es
34-933-160-680
IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute)
Source:Eurekalert

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