Exposure to triggers such as allergens or irritants can lead to asthma attacks. The disease causes narrowing and swelling of the airways leading to symptoms including difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing and tightness in the chest.
Although there is no cure, symptoms may be prevented by avoiding triggers and through established maintenance therapies including bronchodilators, inhaled corticosteroids, anti-IgE agents and leukotriene inhibitors.
Worldwide suffering from asthma
US economic burden
US adults with asthma
According to WHO estimates, more than 260 million people suffer from asthma and it is the most common chronic disease amongst children. In the US alone, the yearly economic burden of asthma is over $80 billion and sales of therapeutics are estimated at $14 billion. Approximately 60% of adult asthmatics in the US have uncontrolled asthma despite regularly taking medication.
Verona Pharma’s first-in-class development candidate, ensifentrine, has shown promise in a Phase 2 clinical trial in asthma. The data, published on-line in the journal Pulmonary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, showed that the inhaled phosphodiesterase 3 and 4 inhibitor, demonstrated dose-dependent improvements in bronchodilation that were as effective as current rescue medication, high dose nebulized salbutamol. Importantly, ensifentrine was well tolerated and patients had fewer systemic effects than those receiving salbutamol. For more information see the abstract here.