WRT Xolair - Yes, Tanox came before Xolair and was being trialed as an allergy treatment. Hugh Sampson was in charge of the trial and I was to the "signing my life away paperwork" when they lost the court battle with Xolair.
Prior to approval for asthma, Xolair was not investigated as an allergy treatment because they felt they could get FDA approval much easier as an asthma treatment. As soon as Xolair was approved for asthma (~2004) we started DS on it. Even though he was only 7 (at the time of approval Xolair was for ages 12 and up), he qualified because his asthma was so bad and we were hoping to help his allergies as a side effect of the asthma treatment. There was an allergist in Fort Worth who was trialing Xolair as an allergy treatment but our pulmonologist didn't want to risk DS being in the placebo group. I have not heard the outcome of the food allergy trials done on it.
Our experience with Xolair could not have been more positive. DS had an extraordinary number of LTFA with reaction history to back up the dx. At the time of starting Xolair, he was reacting to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, soy and wheat of the Top 8 plus many non-Top 8 foods like corn, potatoes, beef, mustard and most other legumes to name a few. He also had severe environmental allergies including anaphylaxis to dog. His asthma was out of control, too.
While DS was on Xolair he was able to tolerate all of his food allergens with the exception of peanuts and tree nuts. We did not attempt those, but he had one incidence of his eyes swelling near PB and a slight reaction to probable tree nut cross contamination while on the Xolair. I do believe both of those reactions were milder than they would have been before Xolair. Once he started Xolair, DS came off all his asthma maintenance meds and only needed his inhaler a handful of times. After being on Xolair only three months, we were even able to get DS a dog.
DS was on Xolair for about 5 years - we lost our insurance and were not able to afford the cost of Xolair without it. I was worried that he could have a severe reaction as the Xolair wore off and his system became able to react to the IgE. I was worried that after having those years of freedom he would begin reacting to all his allergens again and we'd have to take everything away from him. I was worried his asthma would come back. He's been off of Xolair about three years now AND HE'S FINE!! He still eats everything he was eating while on Xolair and the only problems he's had are that non-baked milk makes his throat itch and if he eats more than about 2 eggs he gets stomach pain. We still assume he's allergic to peanuts and tree nuts and avoid those and he has some seasonal allergic rhinitis. That's it. No dog reactions. No asthma. No endless ear/sinus/chest infections.
I don't really know how, but I believe the Xolair allowed his immune system to take a break - reset - stop being hypersensitive - something. Maybe the few IgE that got through the Xolair block essentially resulted in desensitization. Who knows
. I do know that whatever/however it has changed his life.