Journal: Science Translational Medicine
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A new inhalable drug for asthma
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An inhalable version of immune-suppressing drugs called JAK inhibitors helped improve symptoms of asthma in mouse and guinea pig models of the disease.
JAK inhibitors are already approved in pill form for treating rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis and other autoimmune disorders. In mouse models of asthma, these drugs have previously shown some therapeutic potential, but side effects precluded their further development for treating asthma in people.
Now, researchers at the Roche subsidiary Genentech have created a JAK inhibitor that can be administered as a dry powder through inhalation. This delivery system ensures that the drug stays in the lungs, with minimal systemic exposure to the rest of the body.
In the animal models, the drug reduced lung inflammation, improved allergen-induced airway hypersensitivity and exhibited better asthma control than standard corticosteroid therapy, with minimal toxicity.
The researchers conclude that human trials are now warranted.
- Science Translational Medicine 10, eaao2151 (2018). doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aao2151