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New drug to combat asthma symptoms

24 April 2012 09:45

A new drug has been found to reduce asthma symptoms from cold infections

A new drug has been found to reduce asthma symptoms from cold infections

A new drug has been found to significantly reduce asthma symptoms caused by common colds in the first week of infection.

Treatment with SNG001 led to a 65% fall in the number of patients experiencing moderate worsening of symptoms, according to research into the drug.

Experts say the findings could represent a real 'breakthrough' as severe symptoms from cold infections are a serious problem for asthma patients.

Some 134 adults suffering from colds with "mild-moderate" to "severe" asthma took part in the study. Those with "difficult to treat" asthma, around 50% of the total, benefited significantly from the treatment.

Professor Ratko Djukanovic from the University of Southampton was the chief investigator on the trial.

"This trial, conducted by several UK academic respiratory experts, provides the first evidence of an effective anti-viral drug that can boost the asthmatic patient's immune system to fight viruses and thus significantly reduce the impact of virus infections on asthma control," he said.

The 'breakthrough' comes at a time when many people are booking summer holidays, and those with asthma are reminded to take out pre-existing medical travel insurance before jetting off in case their symptoms worsen during their overseas trip.

Leanne Metcalf, assistant director of research at Asthma UK, said: "This has the potential to be one of the biggest breakthroughs in asthma treatments in the past 20 years. We are incredibly excited by the possibilities this research could bring to reduce hospital admissions and deaths as a result of asthma attacks."