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Xolair for inner-city kids with asthma (ICATA Trial)
Busse et al randomized 419 inner-city kids (age 6-20) with uncontrolled, skin-test-positive, mostly severe allergic asthma and IgE < 1,300 IU/mL to 60 weeks of omalizumab or placebo. The treated group had modest improvements: ~1 fewer day of symptoms per month and a 5% absolute reduction in hospitalizations (1.5% vs 6.3%); 18% fewer of them had exacerbations (30% vs 48%), especially during fall & spring. Novartis, other pharmas and the NIH provided funding; most of the investigators reported receiving payments from Novartis. (n=419). NEJM 2011;364:1005-1015.