Expert reaction to trial of drug for treatment of asthma symptoms, as published in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine*
Issued by the Science Media Centre on 5 August
Prof Stephen Durham, Professor of Allergy and Respiratory Medicine, Imperial College London, and Honorary Consultant physician, Royal Brompton Hospital, said:
“The mainstay of treatment for severe asthma in those who fail to respond adequately to maximal inhaler therapy and other currently available anti-asthma drugs is the use of corticosteroid tablets. Steroid tablets are associated with many side effects that include weight gain, high blood pressure, diabetes and osteoporosis.
“Professor Chris Brightling’s group in Leicester provide compelling evidence that a novel tablet treatment, Fevipiprant taken twice daily and on top of usual medication, has the ability to reduce asthmatic inflammation, increase lung function and improve asthma control in this severe group.
“The data strongly support further studies to see whether Fevipiprant may also reduce the frequency of asthma attacks, avoid steroid side effects and reduce NHS costs in the management of these severely ill patients.”
Dr Samantha Walker, Director of Research and Policy at Asthma UK, said:
“This research shows massive promise and should be greeted with cautious optimism.
“In general, the possibility of one day taking a pill instead of using an inhaler will be a very welcome one among the 5.4 million people in the UK with asthma, particularly as this study focused on people who develop the condition in later life, some of whom we know can struggle with the dexterity required to use an inhaler.
“More research is needed and we’re a long way off seeing a pill for asthma being made available over the pharmacy counter, but it’s an exciting development and one which, in the long term, could offer a real alternative to current treatments.”
* ‘Fevipiprant, a prostaglandin D2 receptor 2 antagonist, in patients with persistent eosinophilic asthma: a single-centre, randomised, double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled trial’ by Sherif Gonem et al. will be published in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine at 23:30 UK time on Friday 5 August 2016, which is also when the embargo will lift.
Prof Stephen Durham: “None for asthma. I have received consultancy fees from Glaxo Smith Kline and Boehringer Ingelheim for work unrelated to asthma and from manufacturers of allergy vaccines for hay fever from Merck, Anergis, Biomay and Biotech Tools and Circassia.”
None others received.
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