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Drugs companies working to develop new severe asthma treatments

Last Update 06/04/2021

Drugs companies are working to develop new injectable drugs to treat people with severe asthma.


Drugs companies are working to develop new injectable drugs to treat people with severe asthma, who do not respond well to traditional inhalers.

As severe asthma is a relatively new area of healthcare, the companies are currently competing to become leaders in the field.

Despite treatment advances in recent decades, asthma is still not well controlled in up to 20% of patients on standard therapy, which consists of inhaled steroids and long-acting beta agonists that are designed to open the airways.

New antibody-based drugs work by targeting key chemicals made in the body that cause inflammation of the airways and lead to asthma symptoms. ERS President-Elect, Elisabeth Bel, said: “I’m very optimistic about the new drugs. We have participated in several trials with the new biological agents and have seen some amazing results.”

Significantly, the new drugs offer a more personalized approach to asthma care, with patients undergoing so-called “biomarker” blood tests to check if they are likely to respond to the medicines.

The EU-funded U-BIOPRED project, which ELF is a partner of, is also working towards defining the different types of severe asthma to help drug companies develop a more personalised approach to treatment.

Read the ELF factsheet on severe asthma

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