By Allergen Bureau

Asthma Drug Shows Promise In Treating Multiple Food Allergies

A recent study has found that omalizumab, a medication commonly used to treat asthma, may also be beneficial for people with multiple food allergies.

The study involved 118 participants who received omalizumab injections every two to four weeks for four months, while 59 people received placebo injections. By the end of the trial period, results showed that around 80 per cent of those who received omalizumab could consume more than a gram of a food they were allergic to without adverse reactions. Almost 70 per cent could eat just over a gram of two allergens and 47 per cent could consume just over a gram of three.

These findings are particularly significant for people with multiple food allergies. Omalizumab could be life-changing for people with food allergies, with an accidental exposure no longer being a life-threatening event.

While the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved omalizumab (marketed as Xolair) for use in the treatment of food allergies, it has not yet been approved for this purpose in Australia.

Reference: Wood et al. 2024 N Engl J Med Vol. 390 PP. 889-899 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa2312382.

Additional reporting: Australian Broadcasting Corporation