A new asthma drug, known as Fevipiprant (a prostaglandin D2 receptor antagonist) could revolutionize the treatment of the disease according to a new study.
More than 300 million people around the world suffer from asthma, a long-term inflammation of the airways of the lungs, caused by genetic and environmental factors. The disease causes a variety of symptoms including airflow obstruction, bronchospasm, coughing and shortness of breath. During the last 20 years, no new asthma medicine has been added to the medical arsenal against the disease. The treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms and consists of inhalers and/or steroids, which may lead to weight gain, diabetes, osteoporosis and hypertension.
The study was carried out by various institutions such as the University of Oxford, the University of Leicester and Novartis and it was published in “The Lancet – Respiratory Medicine”. The aim of the trial was to compare fevipiprant, a prostaglandin D2 receptor antagonist, with placebo in 61 adult patients with moderate-to-severe eosinophilic asthma and to investigate the effectiveness of the drug against eosinophilic airway inflammation.
The researchers concluded that “Fevipiprant reduces eosinophilic airway inflammation, is well tolerated in patients with persistent moderate-to-severe asthma and raised sputum eosinophil counts despite inhaled corticosteroid treatment”.
Dr. Samantha Walker, Director of Research and Policy at Asthma UK, stated that: “This research shows massive promise and should be greeted with cautious optimism.”