Biopharmaceutical research companies are working on 54 medicines to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive lower respiratory disease that encompasses two main conditions–chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
The condition is characterized by obstructed airflow to the lungs that interferes with normal breathing, leading to limitations in ability to work, exercise and perform normal social activity. In addition to robbing millions of patients of their ability to breathe normally, COPD costs the nation approximately $49.9 billion.
For the more than 13 million American adults that suffer from COPD, hope lies ahead as America’s biopharmaceutical companies are exploring various new ways to attack this devastating disease and working on 54 medicines to treat it.
13+ Million Afflicted
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) the number of patients with COPD is increasing. In addition to those who have been diagnosed with the disease, 12 million Americans likely have COPD without knowing it.Learn More
Leading Cause of Death in the U.S.
While smoking is the main risk factor for COPD, other causes include air pollution, second-hand smoke, occupational dusts and chemicals, hereditary and childhood respiratory infections.
Die from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease each year. Approximately 85 to 90 percent of these deaths are caused by smoking.Learn More
Medicines in the Pipeline
America’s biopharmaceutical research companies are working on 54 medicines to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Repairing Lung Tissue
An adult human stem cell therapy in development has shown in clinical trials to decrease levels of a protein found in the blood that is often elevated in response to inflammatory disease. The stem cells are isolated from healthy adult donors and have the ability to engraft and selectively differentiate into various types of tissue. In COPD, the stem cell therapy leads to lung tissue repair through release of tissue specific growth factors.
A medicine in development for COPD targets the disease-causing inflammation. It is an antagonist of the chemokine receptor (CXCR2) that potentially can reduce inflammation in COPD by inhibiting the activity of white blood cells (neutrophils) in response to lung tissue damage. When over-activated, these cells can result in additional tissue damage by releasing proteases, stimulating mucus secretion and other negative lung events.
Several medicines in development are fixed-dose combinations of two or more medicines. One is a combination of two long-acting medicines with different biological actions. Both act to relax smooth muscles in the bronchial passages leading to improved lung function for up to 24 hours allowing for once-daily dosing.
Pathway to Inflammation
A human monoclonal antibody in development targets the interleukin-1 (IL-1) receptor pathway, a cytokine that contributes to airway inflammation often associated with COPD.
View and download more information on medicines in development to treat COPD:
View the full 2012 report on COPD medicines in development.
These findings provide new insight into the molecular basis of disease like COPD which researchers say could lead to new therapies.