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‘New asthma drug hope’

The first new asthma drug of its kind in a decade could help the hundreds of thousands of sufferers who are not controlled on steroids, report The Times and Daily Mail.

The first new asthma drug of its kind in a decade could help the hundreds of thousands of sufferers who are not controlled on steroids, report The Times and Daily Mail.

The source Californian biotech company Aerovance exposed 28 asthma sufferers to cat hair and house dust and found their new drug pitrakinra reduced breathlessness by up to three-and-a-half times, reports The Lancet. Pirtakinra is the first interleukin antagonist to successfully block interleukins 4 and 13 which are known to cause allergic asthmatic reactions.

Expert view Professor Chris Corrigan, professor of asthma, allergy and respiratory science at Guy's Hospital said: ‘It is interesting because similar trials that look at blocking interleukins have produced mixed or negative results. This one is promising, but it was used on the mildest of asthmatics in experimental conditions.

‘It won't be used for the routine treatment of average asthma either because it's too expensive and too time-consuming as it has to be injected or given via nebuliser and can't be swallowed as a tablet.'

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