Call for an instant quote
0345 90 80 161
Open Mon to Fri 09:00 - 17:30 | Sat 09:00 - 16:00 (GMT)
07 November 2014 09:36
Researchers have developed a new drug for asthma patients
Researchers have developed a drug that offers new hope to those suffering from asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
The new medicine, called RPL554, works by blocking two enzymes in the body and can help to relax the airway muscles as well as reducing inflammation in sufferers.
Experts say the drug could revolutionise the treatment of asthma and COPD as it does not have any of the substantial side effects of current treatments.
A new treatment with minimal side-effects could encourage asthma sufferers to travel more - however before doing so they should be sure to arrange asthma travel insurance.
A trial carried out across three countries - the UK, the Netherlands and Italy - found that RPL554 relieves patients of symptoms and also has an an ti-inflammatory effect.
After a week of treatment, COPD patients were able to forcibly exhale a 17% higher volume of air after breathing in deeply than before.
The researchers said participants in the trial - both the placebo group and sufferers - had a good tolerance of the drug, and only mild side effects were noted.
RPL554 treatment also did not cause any of the stomach issues linked to current asthma and COPD drugs.
Treatments for these conditions have remained largely the same for the past four decades, although experts started to doubt their effectiveness after they were found to worsen asthma symptoms and fail to protect from flare ups.
What the experts at Asthma UK say
Dr Samantha Walker, director of research and policy at Asthma UK, described the new drug as "unique" because it has two effects at the same time.
She said the 250,000 people in the UK with severe asthma urgently need better medication, adding that current treatments come with a range of "unwelcome side effects" such as osteoporosis, sleep problems, weight gain and depression.
Asthma UK will watch the development of RPL554 "with great interest", Dr Walker said.
The findings of the study have been published in the journal The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.
01 December 2016
Pilots at German airline Lufthansa are on strike again after a two-day break in their campaign of walkouts.
02 December 2016
Britons are among the top spenders in Europe when it comes to holidays, new research has found.
30 November 2016
The UK should think about resuming flights to the popular tourism resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, according to a major United Nations agency.
29 November 2016
Plans are in place to develop a new aviation arrangement between the UK and US, to ensure holidaymakers can still fly between the two countries once Britain departs the EU.
26 November 2016
Hundreds of Lufthansa flights have been grounded after pilots working for the airline took part in a strike.
25 November 2016
The US is warning its citizens that Europe is facing a "heightened risk of terror attacks" at Christmas markets and other seasonal holiday events.
24 November 2016
A groundbreaking radiotherapy machine that can track the changing position of tumours in real time will soon be used to treat cancer patients in the UK.
23 November 2016
Top airline bosses are urging the government to scrap air passenger duty ahead of Wednesday's Autumn Statement.
22 November 2016
Winter sun is now the most popular holiday type, according to new research conducted by travel experts.
19 November 2016
A holiday price increase of 10% on trips to Europe could cause tourists to postpone their getaways next year, experts are warning.
18 November 2016
British citizens will no longer be able to travel freely to Europe without paying a "travel tax" or filling in visa forms under plans unveiled by Brussels.
17 November 2016
London mayor Sadiq Khan has signalled his support for a legal challenge to the expansion of Heathrow airport.