New asthma drug claims

Hope for hundreds of thousands of sufferers

A new drug administered by monthly injection could help those with a severe form of asthma it was announced today.

The drug, Mepolizumab, is still in early clinical trials but those involved believe it could help up to 160,000 people with eosinophilic asthma.

Sufferers usually develop the asthma in adulthood and rely on medication, including oral steroids, for treatment.

The trials, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, proved promising but the trial groups were small – one involved only 20 patients. Larger trials are needed.

The senior author of the study, Dr Paul O’Byrne, professor of respiratory medicine at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, highlighted that the treatment would not be appropriate for all patients with severe asthma.

It is also only helpful for those with eosinophilic asthma.

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