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Suffering from a condition such as asthma can have a significant impact on someone’s life, including their work, their social life, their lifestyle and their overall wellbeing. But this could all be about to change.
A newly-developed weekly jab has been designed to help patients suffering from both asthma and eczema which could even potentially eradicate asthma attacks in patients who do not respond to other treatments such as inhalers.
The processes that drive both problems are thought to be the same: studies show 50 to 70 per cent of children with severe allergic skin problems go on to develop asthma.
According to the NHS, 5.4 million of the UK’s population are currently receiving treatment for asthma, which could mean that the jab would make a huge difference to a significant proportion of our population.
The drug, dupilumab, is being dubbed the ‘superjab’ but is still being tested by pharmaceuticals company Sanofi and Regeneron.
In the company’s twelve-week study, 52 patients aged 18 to 65 were given the drug and 52 patients were assigned to the placebo group. The research showed that the number of asthma attacks or other outbreaks of symptoms decreased by an astounding 87% in those getting the drug compared with those receiving the placebo.
Speaking to the MailOnline, dermatologist Nick Lowe said that “This is the first drug that works on the immune system to treat the underlying cause of these problems [asthma and exzema]. It appears to be a true breakthrough and the results are remarkable.”
While most patients can control their asthma using inhaled steroids and long-acting beta-agonist drugs, between 10 and 20 per cent of sufferers do not respond well to these treatments, meaning the drug could offer a new hope.
The study, which was published in notorious publication ‘The New England Journal of Medicine’, states “Further studies are needed to confirm these observations and better define the target population, dosing regimen and long-term efficacy and safety”.