A new asthma medication has been discovered that could ease the suffering of millions around the world. The new drug targets inflammation of airways, and it shows real potential to greatly improve the breathing of people with severe asthma.
According to a new study published in the journal The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, the drug Fevipiprant would be the first new asthma treatment offered to the public in over two decades, and the best part is, the new asthma drug isn’t an inhaler or steroid, but something entirely new.
The scientific trial of the new asthma drug Fevipiprant was conducted at the England’s University of Leicester. The role of the new asthma drug was to reduce inflammation in asthma sufferers, but the researchers were astounded when the drug proved to be far more effective than initially expected.
Christopher Brightling, one of the researchers and a clinical professor of respiratory medicine at the University of Leicester, commented on the research team’s findings.
“A unique feature of this study was how it included measurements of symptoms, lung function using breathing tests, sampling of the airway wall and CT scans of the chest to give a complete picture of how the new drug works. Most treatments might improve some of these features of disease, but with Fevipiprant improvements were seen with all of the types of tests. We already know that using treatments to target eosinophilic airway inflammation can substantially reduce asthma attacks. This new treatment, Fevipiprant, could likewise help to stop preventable asthma attacks, reduce hospital admissions and improve day-to-day symptoms, making it a ‘game changer’ for future treatment.”
The study of the new asthma medicine at the University of Leicester involved 61 different asthma patients. Thirty of the asthma patients were treated with the new drug Fevipiprant, and 31 of them were given a placebo.
Asthma is an incurable condition caused by inflammation in the airways that, when made worse, results in the tightening of muscles and an increase in mucus production, reducing the ability to breathe. The asthma study used a two-week placebo run-in period at the start of the study and another six-week washout period at the end of the study in order to measure the asthma medicine’s effects properly. The study utilized a measure of white blood cells that increase in the airway in asthma patients to test how well the new asthma medicine was working. Ultimately in this category, patients without asthma measure less than 1 percent, while moderate-to-severe patients usually measure around 5 percent. When the asthma study was concluded, the patients who were given the new asthma drug saw a significant drop from a mean of 5.4 percent to 1.1 percent. Comparably, those asthma patients who were given the placebo only saw a drop from 4.6 to 3.9 percent.
Worldwide, the amount of people that suffer from asthma continues to grow. Right now, about one in 12 people (that equals about 8 percent or 25 million) Americans have asthma, compared to one in 14 in 2001. More children than adults suffer from asthma in the United States. However, data from 2007 says that only 185 children died from the disease, while 3,262 adults succumbed to it. As of 2008, less than half of all individuals that suffer from asthma reported that they had been instructed by health care workers on how to avoid triggers that might cause asthma attacks. However, of those that had been instructed on how to avoid those triggers, 48 percent of those individuals said that they did not follow the advice on how to avoid those asthma triggers. More than half of children and one-third of adults who suffer from asthma reported missing work or school as a result of asthma-related issues. On average, children who suffer from asthma miss about four school days per year, and adults that suffer from asthma report missing about five days of work annually.
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