A new study conducted by a group of Australian researchers suggests that a drug that is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis can also be effective in treating asthma.
Researchers from Brisbane's Queensland Institute of Medical Research analyzed the genetic makeup of thousands of asthma patients and compared it with those without the disease and found two major genetic mutation that were linked with asthma. Both the genes were linked to how the body released chemical signals involved in immunity and inflammation.
The researchers said that a drug, known as tocilizumab, that is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, can also be used effectively among patients who have asthma due to one of the two genetic variations.
Writing in their report, which has been published in the journal The Lancet, the researchers said, "Our results are consistent with the contribution of hundreds or potentially thousands of variants with weak effects on asthma risk, which can be identified through larger GWAS as already shown with other diseases."