Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Positive results in Southampton-led patient trial for new asthma treatment

Scientists from the University of Southampton and Synairgen, a respiratory drug development company spun out from the University, can announce positive data from its Phase II clinical trial, into the effectiveness of the drug SNG001 (inhaled interferon beta) for asthma patients.

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!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Prototype device for measuring graphene-based electromagnetic radiation created

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Gamma ray camera offers new view on ultra-high energy electrons in plasma

28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

When fat cells change their colour

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>