University of Leicester scientists trial groundbreaking new asthma pill

By Bethany Spence

A new asthma drug that is currently in advanced clinical trials, led by scientists at the University of Leicester, may provide a new treatment method after showing promising results.

Being the first new asthma pill to arrive in 20 years, results seem promising although further testing is required before public release.

In the Phase 2 testing both in Leicester and Vancouver, Canada, the new drug Fevipiprant has been shown to reduce the amount of smooth muscle in a patient’s airway linings.

Any increases in this kind of muscle creates a higher chance of irritation, leading to more frequent asthma attacks and in increasingly severe cases, even asthma related deaths.

According to Asthma UK, approximately 5.4 million UK residents are currently being treated for asthma which is about 1 in every 11 people, or 1 in 5 households.

The University of Leicester has been helping to lead the charge for more variety in asthma medications for the last 50 years, creating the third most influential research into  potential treatments in the world.

University of Leicester Attenborough Building

Professor Chris Brightling, NIHR BRC Senior Investigator at the University of Leicester and respiratory consultant at Leicester’s Hospitals, said: “Leicester is world-leading in asthma research.

“I think the success of lung research in Leicester is largely due to the fantastic participation of our patients in research together with the close working between the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and the University of Leicester.”

Dr Pranab Haldar, clinical senior lecturer at the University, added: “I would say that Leicester’s work has led the way to realising the possibility of personalised treatment for patients with asthma.”


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