‘Real-world’ effectiveness of omalizumab in adults with severe allergic asthma: a meta-analysis

Kenneth M. Faulkner, Karen MacDonald, Ivo Abraham, Abdulaziz Alhossan, Christopher S. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Severe asthma affects 5–10% of the 350 million people with asthma worldwide. Findings from the authors’ previous meta-analysis supported omalizumab use as an adjuvant treatment for severe allergic asthma. The publication of fourteen new articles necessitates an update of the meta-analysis. Objective: To evaluate the ‘real-world’ effectiveness of omalizumab in the treatment of acute allergic asthma in adults by calculating pooled effects estimates from data in published articles. Methods: Articles on omalizumab effectiveness in ‘real-world’ settings were identified. Effect sizes, including point estimates of the proportion of patients who met a given criteria, mean improvements relative to baseline, and change in the proportion of patients requiring oral corticosteroids compared to baseline were extracted. Meta-analysis of proportions was conducted to pool effect sizes based on proportions. Standardized mean differences (Hedges’ g) were calculated from means and standard deviations. Relative risk was calculated from changes in proportions. Variability within and between studies was evaluated. Results: Omalizumab increases the percentage of individuals rated ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ on the Global Evaluation of Treatment Effectiveness Scale. Omalizumab also improves respiratory function, quality-of-life, and asthma control while reducing medication usage, exacerbations, hospitalizations, and adverse events. Conclusion: ‘Real-world’ evidence continues to support the use of omalizumab as adjuvant treatment for severe allergic asthma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-83
Number of pages11
JournalExpert Review of Clinical Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021


  • Omalizumab
  • adults
  • asthma
  • effectiveness
  • meta-analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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