Novartis AG

Asthma drug calms chronic hives, rashes

Sufferers of chronic hives and rashes could benefit from a commonly-used asthma drug, Johns Hopkins researchers have found.

Scientists found that a once-a-month dose of the drug omalizumab helped ease symptoms that standard antihistamines didn't.

The drug was tested on 323 peple at 55 medical centers from 2009 to 2011. The subjects were mostly women and between the ages of 12 and 75. The participants had suffered with chronic hives and rash for at least six months and many had dealt with the condition for more than five years.

“Patients suffering with this condition need more and better treatment options because chronic hives and rash are profoundly hard to treat and can...