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Home Industry News Novartis gains UK approval for Xolair

Novartis gains UK approval for Xolair

8th November 2005

Novartis’ Xolair (omalizumab) treatment for severe persistent allergic asthma has been approved for use in the UK.

Omalizumab is the first targeted anti-IgE monoclonal antibody therapy to be approved in asthma, and significantly decreases severe asthma attacks, almost halves emergency visits to doctors and hospitals and improves quality of life, according to Novartis.

Administered by injection every two to three weeks the drug blocks the action of the IgE antibody, a factor in the inflammatory cascade associated with allergic asthma.

Asthma affects 5.2 million people in the UK and kills more than 1,400 people every year, whilst also leading to 69,000 annual hospital admissions, some of the highest rates in Europe.

Omalizumab was approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) on October 27th 2005 as add-on therapy to improve asthma control in adult and adolescent patients (12 years of age and above). It has also been approved in the US, Australia, Brazil, Canada and New Zealand.

“This really is a breakthrough for the treatment of difficult to control asthma, where patients can be at significant risk of asthma-related death and regular hospital admission.

“We finally have a treatment option which can offer effective long-term control, even in very severe disease,” says professor Stephen Holgate, lead clinical investigator and clinical professor of immunopharmacology at the University of Southampton.

Novartis, a Swiss firm, carries out much of its research into respiratory illnesses at it Institute for Biomedical Research (NIBR) Centre of Excellence for Respiratory Research, opened at Horsham (West Sussex) in the UK in 2001.

In 2004, the Group’s businesses achieved sales of $28.2 billion and a net income of $5.8 billion.

track© Adfero Ltd

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