This pioneering trial investigated the potential for SNG001 to protect asthmatics from respiratory virus infections, principally the common cold, that can spread to the lung, which are a major cause of worsening asthma symptoms.
There are 5.4 million asthmatics in the UK (Asthma UK) and 25.7 million in the USA (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and it is estimated that viral infection is associated with up to eight out of ten asthma-related emergency department visits.
The study, which took place at 20 sites, investigated SNG001 in 134 adult asthma patients, representing 'mild-moderate' through to 'severe' asthmatics, who caught a cold. Patients with 'difficult to treat' asthma - approximately half of the patients in the trial - benefitted significantly from SNG001 treatment. This category of patient is estimated to represent between 10% and 20% of all adult asthma sufferers.
Results showed that SNG001 prevented asthma symptoms from getting worse during the first week of infection and treatment. There was a 65% reduction in the number of patients experiencing moderate exacerbations during the treatment period and patients who were treated with the placebo had greater loss in lung function, as measured by morning peak expiratory flow rate (a measure of lung function).
Professor Stephen Holgate CBE, leading international asthma specialist at the University of Southampton and founder of Synairgen, says: "This is a really promising breakthrough for the future treatment of asthma and one of the most exciting developments that I have seen in years. This is the first clinical study which appears to demonstrate that, by boosting the antiviral defences of the lungs of asthmatics rather than trying to inhibit rapidly evolving viruses, we can limit the adverse effects of viral infection significantly to prevent worsening of asthma symptoms in a high risk group of patients.
"This trial is an important milestone in the development of our SNG001 programme from its origins in research supported by the MRC, Asthma UK, the British Lung Foundation, the National Institute of Health Research and the University of Southampton, to today's exciting results in this 'real world' asthma study. Not only have we established the potential of SNG001 as a novel treatment for viral exacerbations in difficult to treat asthma but also a crucial link between viral infection, asthma symptoms and severity of disease.
"These impressive findings across different endpoints, together with the accumulating body of evidence we have generated for other respiratory viruses such as influenza (Swine and Bird flu) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), strongly suggest that SNG001 has the potential to be used as a powerful broad spectrum antiviral respiratory drug in lung diseases such as COPD and pandemic flu."
Professor Ratko Djukanovic, a clinical respiratory specialist at the University of Southampton and University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and Director of the Southampton Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit, was the Chief Investigator of the trial. He comments: "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. Scientists at the University of Southampton, who made the discovery of innate immune deficiency in asthma, have long suspected that the need to correct the deficiency is greatest in patients with severe asthma: we now have compelling evidence that this is the case."
Richard Marsden, Chief Executive of Synairgen, adds: "This is a great result for the development of our programme. To put SNG001's potential into context, it is estimated that in the US alone there are some 2 to 4 million difficult to treat (Step 4 and 5) adult asthma sufferers who could benefit from this therapy. Children, who get more colds than adults, represent an additional asthma market opportunity. We believe that there will be even greater potential in COPD. We continue to analyse the wealth of data generated by this important trial and to plan the next phase of its development, ideally alongside an industry partner. "
Leanne Metcalf, Assistant Director of Research at Asthma UK, says: "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. Over 80% of asthma attacks are triggered by cold and flu viruses, and until now we haven't had any effective treatments that can stop this from happening. This clinical trial demonstrates the potential of this anti-viral drug to prevent asthma attacks for thousands of people with severe asthma. We are incredibly proud to have played a part in the realisation of this research programme which should benefit people with asthma in a really significant way."
Becky Attwood | EurekAlert!
A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital
Stem cell transplants: activating signal paths may protect from graft-versus-host disease
20.04.2017 | Technische Universität München
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...
Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.
A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy