Researchers at Cardiff University have discovered a drug that can prevent the symptoms of Asthma. This comes after they discovered the possible cause of asthmatic symptoms in the asthmatic person’s Calcium-Sensing Receptors (CaSR).
The researchers were working with others at King’s College London and the Mayo Clinic, USA. Asthma affects over 300 million worldwide, but research has been underfunded so there have been few new treatments developed.
They have discovered that environmental triggers such as allergens, cigarette smoke and car fumes activate the CaSR which causes the airways to narrow, airway twitchiness and inflammation.
These allergens cause the release of chemicals which cause the CaSR to respond with the asthma symptoms.
Fortunately, they have also discovered that a class of drugs called calcilytics, which were previously used to treat osteoporosis, can be used to deactivate the CaSR and prevent these symptoms. The drug is nebulised directly into the lungs.
This is great news for the one in twelve asthma sufferers who don’t respond to the current treatments. If the research is successful, the new treatment could be available for asthmatics in a few years.
The research so far has used mouse models of asthma and also human tissue from the airways of asthmatics and non-asthmatics. The researchers are hoping to secure funding to move to human trials within 2 years.
The new drug could also be used to treat other chronic lung diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and chronic bronchitis for which there is currently no cure.
Researchers are also keen to test the drug on steroid resistant and influenza-exacerbated asthma which is very difficult to treat.
The study was part funded by Asthma UK, the Cardiff Partnership Fund and a BBSRC “Sparking Impact” award.
In the meantime, check out out shop to buy some asthma friendly products to help you out before this treatment is ready!
Image credit: FreeImages.com/Jenny Rollo
Disclaimer: The information provided is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Allergy Lifestyle Limited (t/a) Allergy Lifestyle) uses reasonable endeavours to check the accuracy of information provided however no warranty is given that they are error-free.