This information is intended for use by health professionals

1. Name of the medicinal product

Xolair® 75 mg solution for injection in pre-filled syringe

2. Qualitative and quantitative composition

Each pre-filled syringe of 0.5 ml solution contains 75 mg of omalizumab*.

*Omalizumab is a humanised monoclonal antibody manufactured by recombinant DNA technology in a Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) mammalian cell line.

For the full list of excipients, see section 6.1.

3. Pharmaceutical form

Solution for injection in pre-filled syringe (injection).

Clear to slightly opalescent, colourless to pale brownish-yellow solution.

4. Clinical particulars
4.1 Therapeutic indications

Xolair is indicated in adults, adolescents and children (6 to <12 years of age).

Xolair treatment should only be considered for patients with convincing IgE (immunoglobulin E) mediated asthma (see section 4.2).

Adults and adolescents (12 years of age and older)

Xolair is indicated as add-on therapy to improve asthma control in patients with severe persistent allergic asthma who have a positive skin test or in vitro reactivity to a perennial aeroallergen and who have reduced lung function (FEV1 <80%) as well as frequent daytime symptoms or night-time awakenings and who have had multiple documented severe asthma exacerbations despite daily high-dose inhaled corticosteroids, plus a long-acting inhaled beta2-agonist.

Children (6 to <12 years of age)

Xolair is indicated as add-on therapy to improve asthma control in patients with severe persistent allergic asthma who have a positive skin test or in vitro reactivity to a perennial aeroallergen and frequent daytime symptoms or night-time awakenings and who have had multiple documented severe asthma exacerbations despite daily high-dose inhaled corticosteroids, plus a long-acting inhaled beta2-agonist.

4.2 Posology and method of administration

Xolair treatment should be initiated by physicians experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of severe persistent asthma.

Posology

The appropriate dose and frequency of Xolair is determined by baseline IgE (IU/ml), measured before the start of treatment, and body weight (kg). Prior to administration of the initial dose, patients should have their IgE level determined by any commercial serum total IgE assay for their dose assignment. Based on these measurements, 75 to 600 mg of Xolair in 1 to 4 injections may be needed for each administration.

Patients with IgE lower than 76 IU/ml were less likely to experience benefit (see section 5.1). Prescribing physicians should ensure that adult and adolescent patients with IgE below 76 IU/ml and children (6 to < 12 years of age) with IgE below 200 IU/ml have unequivocal in vitro reactivity (RAST) to a perennial allergen before starting therapy.

See Table 1 for a conversion chart and Tables 2 and 3 for the dose determination charts in adults, adolescents and children (6 to <12 years of age).

Patients whose baseline IgE levels or body weight in kilograms are outside the limits of the dose table should not be given Xolair.

The maximum recommended dose is 600 mg omalizumab every two weeks.

Table 1 Conversion from dose to number of syringes, number of injections and total injection volume for each administration

Dose (mg)

Number of syringes

Number of injections

Total injection volume (ml)

75 mg

150 mg

75

1

0

1

0.5

150

0

1

1

1.0

225

1

1

2

1.5

300

0

2

2

2.0

375

1

2

3

2.5

450

0

3

3

3.0

525

1

3

4

3.5

600

0

4

4

4.0

Table 2 ADMINISTRATION EVERY 4 WEEKS. Xolair doses (milligrams per dose) administered by subcutaneous injection every 4 weeks

Table 3 ADMINSTRATION EVERY 2 WEEKS. Xolair doses (milligrams per dose) administered by subcutaneous injection every 2 weeks

Treatment duration, monitoring and dose adjustments

Xolair is intended for long-term treatment. Clinical trials have demonstrated that it takes at least 12-16 weeks for Xolair treatment to show effectiveness. At 16 weeks after commencing Xolair therapy patients should be assessed by their physician for treatment effectiveness before further injections are administered. The decision to continue Xolair following the 16-week timepoint, or on subsequent occasions, should be based on whether a marked improvement in overall asthma control is seen (see section 5.1, Physician's overall assessment of treatment effectiveness).

Discontinuation of Xolair treatment generally results in a return to elevated free IgE levels and associated symptoms. Total IgE levels are elevated during treatment and remain elevated for up to one year after the discontinuation of treatment. Therefore, re-testing of IgE levels during Xolair treatment cannot be used as a guide for dose determination. Dose determination after treatment interruptions lasting less than one year should be based on serum IgE levels obtained at the initial dose determination. Total serum IgE levels may be re-tested for dose determination if treatment with Xolair has been interrupted for one year or more.

Doses should be adjusted for significant changes in body weight (see Tables 2 and 3).

Special populations

Elderly (65 years of age and older)

There are limited data available on the use of Xolair in patients older than 65 years but there is no evidence that elderly patients require a different dose from younger adult patients.

Renal or hepatic impairment

There have been no studies on the effect of impaired renal or hepatic function on the pharmacokinetics of Xolair. Because omalizumab clearance at clinical doses is dominated by the reticular endothelial system (RES) it is unlikely to be altered by renal or hepatic impairment. While no particular dose adjustment is recommended for these patients, Xolair should be administered with caution (see section 4.4).

Paediatric population

The safety and efficacy of Xolair in children below age 6 have not been established. No data are available.

Method of administration

For subcutaneous administration only. Xolair must not be administered by the intravenous or intramuscular route.

Doses of more than 150 mg (Table 1) should be divided across two or more injection sites.

Patients with no known history of anaphylaxis may self-inject Xolair or be injected by a caregiver from the 4th dose onwards if a physician determines that this is appropriate (see section 4.4). The patient or the caregiver must have been trained in the correct injection technique and the recognition of the early signs and symptoms of serious allergic reactions.

Patients or caregivers should be instructed to inject the full amount of Xolair according to the instructions provided in the package leaflet.

4.3 Contraindications

Hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of the excipients listed in section 6.1.

4.4 Special warnings and precautions for use

General

Xolair is not indicated for the treatment of acute asthma exacerbations, acute bronchospasm or status asthmaticus.

Xolair has not been studied in patients with hyperimmunoglobulin E syndrome or allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis or for the prevention of anaphylactic reactions, including those provoked by food allergy, atopic dermatitis, or allergic rhinitis. Xolair is not indicated for the treatment of these conditions.

Xolair therapy has not been studied in patients with autoimmune diseases, immune complex-mediated conditions, or pre-existing renal or hepatic impairment (see section 4.2). Caution should be exercised when administering Xolair in these patient populations.

Abrupt discontinuation of systemic or inhaled corticosteroids after initiation of Xolair therapy is not recommended. Decreases in corticosteroids should be performed under the direct supervision of a physician and may need to be performed gradually.

Immune system disorders

Allergic reactions type I

Type I local or systemic allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis and anaphylactic shock, may occur when taking omalizumab, even after a long duration of treatment. However, most of these reactions occurred within 2 hours after the first and subsequent injections of Xolair but some started beyond 2 hours and even beyond 24 hours after the injection. The majority of anaphylactic reactions occurred within the first 3 doses of Xolair. Therefore, the first 3 doses must be administered either by or under the supervision of a healthcare professional. A history of anaphylaxis unrelated to omalizumab may be a risk factor for anaphylaxis following Xolair administration. Therefore for patients with a known history of anaphylaxis, Xolair must be administered by a health care professional, who should always have medicinal products for the treatment of anaphylactic reactions available for immediate use following administration of Xolair. If an anaphylactic or other serious allergic reaction occurs, administration of Xolair must be discontinued immediately and appropriate therapy initiated. Patients should be informed that such reactions are possible and prompt medical attention should be sought if allergic reactions occur.

Antibodies to omalizumab have been detected in a low number of patients in clinical trials (see section 4.8). The clinical relevance of anti-Xolair antibodies is not well understood.

Serum sickness

Serum sickness and serum sickness-like reactions, which are delayed allergic type III reactions, have been seen in patients treated with humanised monoclonal antibodies including omalizumab. The suggested pathophysiologic mechanism includes immune-complex formation and deposition due to development of antibodies against omalizumab. The onset has typically been 1-5 days after administration of the first or subsequent injections, also after long duration of treatment. Symptoms suggestive of serum sickness include arthritis/arthralgias, rash (urticaria or other forms), fever and lymphadenopathy. Antihistamines and corticosteroids may be useful for preventing or treating this disorder, and patients should be advised to report any suspected symptoms.

Churg-Strauss syndrome and hypereosinophilic syndrome

Patients with severe asthma may rarely present systemic hypereosinophilic syndrome or allergic eosinophilic granulomatous vasculitis (Churg-Strauss syndrome), both of which are usually treated with systemic corticosteroids.

In rare cases, patients on therapy with anti-asthma medicinal products, including omalizumab, may present or develop systemic eosinophilia and vasculitis. These events are commonly associated with the reduction of oral corticosteroid therapy.

In these patients, physicians should be alert to the development of marked eosinophilia, vasculitic rash, worsening pulmonary symptoms, paranasal sinus abnormalities, cardiac complications, and/or neuropathy.

Discontinuation of omalizumab should be considered in all severe cases with the above mentioned immune system disorders.

Parasitic (helminth) infections

IgE may be involved in the immunological response to some helminth infections. In patients at chronic high risk of helminth infection, a placebo-controlled trial showed a slight increase in infection rate with omalizumab, although the course, severity, and response to treatment of infection were unaltered. The helminth infection rate in the overall clinical programme, which was not designed to detect such infections, was less than 1 in 1,000 patients. However, caution may be warranted in patients at high risk of helminth infection, in particular when travelling to areas where helminthic infections are endemic. If patients do not respond to recommended anti-helminth treatment, discontinuation of Xolair should be considered.

Latex-sensitive individuals

The removable needle cap of this pre-filled syringe contains a derivative of natural rubber latex. No natural rubber latex has to date been detected in the removable needle cap. Nevertheless, the use of Xolair solution for injection in pre-filled syringe in latex-sensitive individuals has not been studied and thus there is a potential risk for hypersensitivity reactions which cannot be completely ruled out.

4.5 Interaction with other medicinal products and other forms of interaction

Since IgE may be involved in the immunological response to some helminth infections, Xolair may indirectly reduce the efficacy of medicinal products for the treatment of helminthic or other parasitic infections (see section 4.4).

Cytochrome P450 enzymes, efflux pumps and protein-binding mechanisms are not involved in the clearance of omalizumab; thus, there is little potential for drug-drug interactions. Medicinal product or vaccine interaction studies have not been performed with Xolair. There is no pharmacological reason to expect that commonly prescribed medicinal products used in the treatment of asthma will interact with omalizumab.

In clinical studies Xolair was commonly used in conjunction with inhaled and oral corticosteroids, inhaled short-acting and long-acting beta agonists, leukotriene modifiers, theophyllines and oral antihistamines. There was no indication that the safety of Xolair was altered with these other commonly used anti-asthma medicinal products. Limited data are available on the use of Xolair in combination with specific immunotherapy (hypo-sensitisation therapy). In a clinical trial where Xolair was co-administered with immunotherapy, the safety and efficacy of Xolair in combination with specific immunotherapy were found to be no different to that of Xolair alone.

4.6 Fertility, pregnancy and lactation

Pregnancy

There are limited data from the use of omalizumab in pregnant women. Animal studies do not indicate direct or indirect harmful effects with respect to reproductive toxicity (see section 5.3). Omalizumab crosses the placental barrier and the potential for harm to the foetus is unknown. Omalizumab has been associated with age-dependent decreases in blood platelets in non-human primates, with a greater relative sensitivity in juvenile animals (see section 5.3). Xolair should not be used during pregnancy unless clearly necessary.

Breast-feeding

It is unknown whether omalizumab is excreted in human milk. Available data in non-human primates have shown excretion of omalizumab into milk (see section 5.3). A risk to the newborns/infants cannot be excluded. Omalizumab should not be given during breast-feeding.

Fertility

There are no human fertility data for omalizumab. In specifically-designed non-clinical fertility studies in non-human primates, including mating studies, no impairment of male or female fertility was observed following repeated dosing with omalizumab at dose levels up to 75 mg/kg. Furthermore, no genotoxic effects were observed in a separate non-clinical genotoxicity study.

4.7 Effects on ability to drive and use machines

Xolair has no or negligible influence on the ability to drive and use machines.

4.8 Undesirable effects

Summary of the safety profile

During clinical trials in adult and adolescent patients 12 years of age and older, the most commonly reported adverse reactions were headaches and injection site reactions, including injection site pain, swelling, erythema and pruritus. In clinical trials in children 6 to <12 years of age, the most commonly reported adverse reactions were headache, pyrexia and upper abdominal pain. Most of the reactions were mild or moderate in severity.

Tabulated list of adverse reactions

Table 4 lists the adverse reactions recorded in clinical studies in the total safety population treated with Xolair by MedDRA system organ class and frequency. Within each frequency grouping, adverse reactions are presented in order of decreasing seriousness. Frequency categories are defined as: very common (≥1/10), common (≥1/100 to <1/10), uncommon (≥1/1,000 to <1/100), rare (≥1/10,000 to <1/1,000) and very rare (<1/10,000). Reactions reported in the post-marketing setting are listed with frequency not known (cannot be estimated from the available data).

Table 4 Adverse reactions

Infections and infestations

Uncommon

Pharyngitis

Rare

Parasitic infection

Blood and lymphatic system disorders

Not known

Idiopathic thrombocytopenia, including severe cases

Immune system disorders

Rare

Anaphylactic reaction, other serious allergic conditions, anti-omalizumab antibody development

Not known

Serum sickness, may include fever and lymphadenopathy

Nervous system disorders

Common

Headache*

Uncommon

Syncope, paraesthesia, somnolence, dizziness

Vascular disorders

Uncommon

Postural hypotension, flushing

Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders

Uncommon

Allergic bronchospasm, coughing

Rare

Laryngoedema

Not known

Allergic granulomatous vasculitis (i.e. Churg-Strauss syndrome)

Gastrointestinal disorders

Common

Abdominal pain upper**

Uncommon

Dyspeptic signs and symptoms, diarrhoea, nausea

Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders

Uncommon

Photosensitivity, urticaria, rash, pruritus

Rare

Angioedema

Not known

Alopecia

Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders

Rare

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

Not known

Arthralgia, myalgia, joint swelling

General disorders and administration site conditions

Very common

Pyrexia**

Common

Injection site reactions such as swelling, erythema, pain, pruritus

Uncommon

Influenza-like illness, swelling arms, weight increase, fatigue

*: Very common in children 6 to <12 years of age

**: In children 6 to <12 years of age

Description of selected adverse reactions

Immune system disorders

For further information, see section 4.4.

Anaphylaxis

Anaphylactic reactions were rare in clinical trials. However, post-marketing data following a cumulative search in the safety database retrieved a total of 898 anaphylaxis cases. Based on an estimated exposure of 566,923 patient treatment years, this results in a reporting rate of approximately 0.20%.

Arterial thromboembolic events (ATE)

In controlled clinical trials and during interim analyses of an observational study, a numerical imbalance of ATE was observed. The definition of the composite endpoint ATE included stroke, transient ischaemic attack, myocardial infarction, unstable angina, and cardiovascular death (including death from unknown cause). In the final analysis of the observational study, the rate of ATE per 1,000 patient years was 7.52 (115/15,286 patient years) for Xolair-treated patients and 5.12 (51/9,963 patient years) for control patients. In a multivariate analysis controlling for available baseline cardiovascular risk factors, the hazard ratio was 1.32 (95% confidence interval 0.91-1.91). In a separate analysis of pooled clinical trials, which included all randomised double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials lasting 8 or more weeks, the rate of ATE per 1,000 patient years was 2.69 (5/1,856 patient years) for Xolair-treated patients and 2.38 (4/1,680 patient years) for placebo patients (rate ratio 1.13, 95% confidence interval 0.24-5.71).

Platelets

In clinical trials few patients had platelet counts below the lower limit of the normal laboratory range. None of these changes were associated with bleeding episodes or a decrease in haemoglobin. No pattern of persistent decrease in platelet counts, as observed in non-human primates (see section 5.3), has been reported in humans (patients above 6 years of age), even though isolated cases of idiopathic thrombocytopenia, including severe cases, have been reported in the post-marketing setting.

Parasitic infections

In patients at chronic high risk of helminth infection, a placebo-controlled trial showed a slight numerical increase in infection rate with omalizumab that was not statistically significant. The course, severity, and response to treatment of infections were unaltered (see section 4.4).

Systemic lupus erythematosus

Clinical trial and post-marketing cases of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have been reported in patients with moderate to severe asthma and CSU. The pathogenesis of SLE is not well understood.

Reporting of suspected adverse reactions

Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via the Yellow Card Scheme at: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store.

4.9 Overdose

Maximum tolerated dose of Xolair has not been determined. Single intravenous doses up to 4,000 mg have been administered to patients without evidence of dose-limiting toxicities. The highest cumulative dose administered to patients was 44,000 mg over a 20-week period and this dose did not result in any untoward acute effects.

If an overdose is suspected, the patient should be monitored for any abnormal signs or symptoms. Medical treatment should be sought and instituted appropriately.

5. Pharmacological properties
5.1 Pharmacodynamic properties

Pharmacotherapeutic group: Drugs for obstructive airway diseases, other systemic drugs for obstructive airway diseases, ATC code: R03DX05

Omalizumab is a recombinant DNA-derived humanised monoclonal antibody that selectively binds to human immunoglobulin E (IgE). The antibody is an IgG1 kappa that contains human framework regions with the complementary-determining regions of a murine parent antibody that binds to IgE.

Mechanism of action

Omalizumab binds to IgE and prevents binding of IgE to FcεRI (high-affinity IgE receptor), thereby reducing the amount of free IgE that is available to trigger the allergic cascade. Treatment of atopic subjects with omalizumab resulted in a marked down-regulation of FcεRI receptors on basophils.

Pharmacodynamic effects

The in vitro histamine release from basophils isolated from Xolair-treated subjects was reduced by approximately 90% following stimulation with an allergen compared to pre-treatment values.

In clinical studies, serum free IgE levels were reduced in a dose-dependent manner within one hour following the first dose and maintained between doses. One year after discontinuation of Xolair dosing, the IgE levels had returned to pre-treatment levels with no observed rebound in IgE levels after washout of the medicinal product.

Clinical efficacy and safety

Adults and adolescents ≥12 years of age

The efficacy and safety of Xolair were demonstrated in a 28-week double-blind placebo-controlled study (study 1) involving 419 severe allergic asthmatics, ages 12-79 years, who had reduced lung function (FEV1 40-80% predicted) and poor asthma symptom control despite receiving high dose inhaled corticosteroids and a long-acting beta2-agonist. Eligible patients had experienced multiple asthma exacerbations requiring systemic corticosteroid treatment or had been hospitalised or attended an emergency room due to a severe asthma exacerbation in the past year despite continuous treatment with high-dose inhaled corticosteroids and a long-acting beta2-agonist. Subcutaneous Xolair or placebo were administered as add-on therapy to >1,000 micrograms beclomethasone dipropionate (or equivalent) plus a long-acting beta2-agonist. Oral corticosteroid, theophylline and leukotriene-modifier maintenance therapies were allowed (22%, 27%, and 35% of patients, respectively).

The rate of asthma exacerbations requiring treatment with bursts of systemic corticosteroids was the primary endpoint. Omalizumab reduced the rate of asthma exacerbations by 19% (p = 0.153). Further evaluations which did show statistical significance (p<0.05) in favour of Xolair included reductions in severe exacerbations (where patient's lung function was reduced to below 60% of personal best and requiring systemic corticosteroids) and asthma-related emergency visits (comprised of hospitalisations, emergency room, and unscheduled doctor visits), and improvements in Physician's overall assessment of treatment effectiveness, Asthma-related Quality of Life (AQL), asthma symptoms and lung function.

In a subgroup analysis, patients with pre-treatment total IgE ≥76 IU/ml were more likely to experience clinically meaningful benefit to Xolair. In these patients in study 1 Xolair reduced the rate of asthma exacerbations by 40% (p = 0.002). In addition more patients had clinically meaningful responses in the total IgE ≥76 IU/ml population across the Xolair severe asthma programme. Table 5 includes results in the study 1 population.

Table 5 Results of study 1

Whole study 1 population

Xolair

N=209

Placebo

N=210

Asthma exacerbations

Rate per 28-week period

0.74

0.92

% reduction, p-value for rate ratio

19.4%, p = 0.153

Severe asthma exacerbations

Rate per 28-week period

0.24

0.48

% reduction, p-value for rate ratio

50.1%, p = 0.002

Emergency visits

Rate per 28-week period

0.24

0.43

% reduction, p-value for rate ratio

43.9%, p = 0.038

Physician's overall assessment

% responders*

60.5%

42.8%

p-value**

<0.001

AQL improvement

% of patients ≥0.5 improvement

60.8%

47.8%

p-value

0.008

* marked improvement or complete control

** p-value for overall distribution of assessment

Study 2 assessed the efficacy and safety of Xolair in a population of 312 severe allergic asthmatics which matched the population in study 1. Treatment with Xolair in this open label study led to a 61% reduction in clinically significant asthma exacerbation rate compared to current asthma therapy alone.

Four additional large placebo-controlled supportive studies of 28 to 52 weeks duration in 1,722 adults and adolescents (studies 3, 4, 5, 6) assessed the efficacy and safety of Xolair in patients with severe persistent asthma. Most patients were inadequately controlled but were receiving less concomitant asthma therapy than patients in studies 1 or 2. Studies 3-5 used exacerbation as primary endpoint, whereas study 6 primarily evaluated inhaled corticosteroid sparing.

In studies 3, 4 and 5 patients treated with Xolair had respective reductions in asthma exacerbation rates of 37.5% (p = 0.027), 40.3% (p<0.001) and 57.6% (p<0.001) compared to placebo.

In study 6, significantly more severe allergic asthma patients on Xolair were able to reduce their fluticasone dose to ≤500 micrograms/day without deterioration of asthma control (60.3%) compared to the placebo group (45.8%, p<0.05).

Quality of life scores were measured using the Juniper Asthma-related Quality of Life Questionnaire. For all six studies there was a statistically significant improvement from baseline in quality of life scores for Xolair patients versus the placebo or control group.

Physician's overall assessment of treatment effectiveness:

Physician's overall assessment was performed in five of the above studies as a broad measure of asthma control performed by the treating physician. The physician was able to take into account PEF (peak expiratory flow), day and night time symptoms, rescue medication use, spirometry and exacerbations. In all five studies a significantly greater proportion of Xolair treated patients were judged to have achieved either a marked improvement or complete control of their asthma compared to placebo patients.

Children 6 to <12 years of age

The primary support for safety and efficacy of Xolair in the group aged 6 to <12 years comes from one randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-centre trial (study 7).

Study 7 was a placebo-controlled trial which included a specific subgroup (n=235) of patients as defined in the present indication, who were treated with high-dose inhaled corticosteroids (≥500 µg/day fluticasone equivalent) plus long-acting beta agonist.

A clinically significant exacerbation was defined as a worsening of asthma symptoms as judged clinically by the investigator, requiring doubling of the baseline inhaled corticosteroid dose for at least 3 days and/or treatment with rescue systemic (oral or intravenous) corticosteroids for at least 3 days.

In the specific subgroup of patients on high dose inhaled corticosteroids, the omalizumab group had a statistically significantly lower rate of clinically significant asthma exacerbations than the placebo group. At 24 weeks, the difference in rates between treatment groups represented a 34% (rate ratio 0.662, p = 0.047) decrease relative to placebo for omalizumab patients. In the second double-blind 28-week treatment period the difference in rates between treatment groups represented a 63% (rate ratio 0.37, p<0.001) decrease relative to placebo for omalizumab patients.

During the 52-week double-blind treatment period (including the 24-week fixed-dose steroid phase and the 28-week steroid adjustment phase) the difference in rates between treatment groups represented a 50% (rate ratio 0.504, p<0.001) relative decrease in exacerbations for omalizumab patients.

The omalizumab group showed greater decreases in beta-agonist rescue medication use than the placebo group at the end of the 52-week treatment period, although the difference between treatment groups was not statistically significant. For the global evaluation of treatment effectiveness at the end of the 52-week double-blind treatment period in the subgroup of severe patients on high-dose inhaled corticosteroids plus long-acting beta agonists, the proportion of patients rated as having 'excellent' treatment effectiveness was higher, and the proportions having 'moderate' or 'poor' treatment effectiveness lower in the omalizumab group compared to the placebo group; the difference between groups was statistically significant (p<0.001), while there were no differences between the omalizumab and placebo groups for patients' subjective Quality of Life ratings.

5.2 Pharmacokinetic properties

The pharmacokinetics of omalizumab have been studied in adult and adolescent patients with allergic asthma.

Absorption

After subcutaneous administration, omalizumab is absorbed with an average absolute bioavailability of 62%. Following a single subcutaneous dose in adult and adolescent patients with asthma, omalizumab was absorbed slowly, reaching peak serum concentrations after an average of 7-8 days. The pharmacokinetics of omalizumab are linear at doses greater than 0.5 mg/kg. Following multiple doses of omalizumab, areas under the serum concentration-time curve from Day 0 to Day 14 at steady state were up to 6-fold of those after the first dose.

Administration of Xolair manufactured as a lyophilised or liquid formulation resulted in similar serum concentration-time profiles of omalizumab.

Distribution

In vitro, omalizumab forms complexes of limited size with IgE. Precipitating complexes and complexes larger than one million Daltons in molecular weight are not observed in vitro or in vivo. The apparent volume of distribution in patients following subcutaneous administration was 78 ± 32 ml/kg.

Elimination

Clearance of omalizumab involves IgG clearance processes as well as clearance via specific binding and complex formation with its target ligand, IgE. Liver elimination of IgG includes degradation in the reticuloendothelial system and endothelial cells. Intact IgG is also excreted in bile. In asthma patients the omalizumab serum elimination half-life averaged 26 days, with apparent clearance averaging 2.4 ± 1.1 ml/kg/day. In addition, doubling of body weight approximately doubled apparent clearance.

Characteristics in patient populations

Age, Race/Ethnicity, Gender, Body Mass Index

The population pharmacokinetics of Xolair were analysed to evaluate the effects of demographic characteristics. Analyses of these limited data suggest that no dose adjustments are necessary for age (6-76 years), race/ethnicity, gender or Body Mass Index (see section 4.2).

Renal and hepatic impairment

There are no pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic data in patients with renal or hepatic impairment (see sections 4.2 and 4.4).

5.3 Preclinical safety data

The safety of omalizumab has been studied in the cynomolgus monkey, since omalizumab binds to cynomolgus and human IgE with similar affinity. Antibodies to omalizumab were detected in some monkeys following repeated subcutaneous or intravenous administration. However, no apparent toxicity, such as immune complex-mediated disease or complement-dependent cytotoxicity, was seen. There was no evidence of an anaphylactic response due to mast-cell degranulation in cynomolgus monkeys.

Chronic administration of omalizumab at dose levels of up to 250 mg/kg (at least 14 times the highest recommended clinical dose in mg/kg according to the recommended dosing table) was well tolerated in non-human primates (both adult and juvenile animals), with the exception of a dose-related and age-dependent decrease in blood platelets, with a greater sensitivity in juvenile animals. The serum concentration required to attain a 50% drop in platelets from baseline in adult cynomolgus monkeys was roughly 4- to 20-fold higher than anticipated maximum clinical serum concentrations. In addition, acute haemorrhage and inflammation were observed at injection sites in cynomolgus monkeys.

Formal carcinogenicity studies have not been conducted with omalizumab.

In reproduction studies in cynomolgus monkeys, subcutaneous doses up to 75 mg/kg per week (at least 8 times the highest recommended clinical dose in mg/kg over a 4-week period) did not elicit maternal toxicity, embryotoxicity or teratogenicity when administered throughout organogenesis and did not elicit adverse effects on foetal or neonatal growth when administered throughout late gestation, delivery and nursing.

Omalizumab is excreted in breast milk in cynomolgus monkeys. Milk levels of omalizumab were 0.15% of the maternal serum concentration.

6. Pharmaceutical particulars
6.1 List of excipients

L-arginine hydrochloride

L-histidine hydrochloride

L-histidine

Polysorbate 20

Water for injections

6.2 Incompatibilities

This medicinal product must not be mixed with other medicinal products.

6.3 Shelf life

15 months.

The shelf life includes potential temperature excursions. The product may be kept for a total of 4 hours at 25°C. If necessary, the product may be returned to the refrigerator for later use, but this must not be done more than once.

6.4 Special precautions for storage

Store in a refrigerator (2°C - 8°C).

Do not freeze.

Store in the original package in order to protect from light.

6.5 Nature and contents of container

0.5 ml solution in a pre-filled syringe barrel (type I glass) with staked needle (stainless steel), (type I) plunger stopper and needle cap.

Pack containing 1 pre-filled syringe, and multipacks containing 4 (4 x 1) or 10 (10 x 1) pre-filled syringes.

Not all pack sizes may be marketed.

6.6 Special precautions for disposal and other handling

Xolair 75 mg solution for injection is supplied in a single-use pre-filled syringe for individual use. The syringe should be taken out of the refrigerator 20 minutes before injecting to allow it to reach room temperature.

Disposal instructions

Dispose of the used syringe immediately in a sharps container.

Any unused medicinal product or waste material should be disposed of in accordance with local requirements.

7. Marketing authorisation holder

Novartis Europharm Limited

Vista Building

Elm Park, Merrion Road

Dublin 4

Ireland

8. Marketing authorisation number(s)

EU/1/05/319/005

EU/1/05/319/006

EU/1/05/319/007

9. Date of first authorisation/renewal of the authorisation

Date of first authorisation: 25 October 2005

Date of latest renewal: 22 June 2015

10. Date of revision of the text

09 January 2019

Detailed information on this medicinal product is available on the website of the European Medicines Agency http://www.ema.europa.eu