A new drug now in advanced clinical trials could offer people with asthma a new way to treat the condition.
An advanced clinical trial of a new pill to treat asthma led by scientists at the University of Leicester has shown good results for sufferers.
The team in both Leicester and Vancouver in Canada have shown that, in phase II trials, the new drug Fevipiprant reduces the amount of smooth muscle in patients’ airway linings.
Professor Chris Brightling said: “Our research shows for the first time that Fevipiprant not only reduces inflammation in the airways, but also reduces the amount of muscle in the lining of the airway.
“This is likely to explain some of the effects seen in the symptoms and breathing tests following treatment,” added Professor Brightling, a consultant respiratory physician and professor at the University of Leicester.
An increase in this kind of muscle in the airway lining significantly increases the likelihood of frequent asthma attacks and even asthma-related deaths, according to researchers.
Professor Brightling added: “From previous trials conducted we found that Fevipiprant led to improvements in symptoms, breathing tests, inflammation and also helped to repair the lining of patients’ airways.
“Our latest research gives us a better understanding of the mechanisms behind the efficacy of the drug and how changes in one part of the airway wall can impact on others.
“Our findings suggest that Fevipiprant could have positive long-term effects upon the progression of the disease through remodelling, as well as improve symptoms and reduce attacks.”