by Samhita Vitta on  August 24, 2020 at 1:23 PM Health In Focus
  • New class of drugs can reverse asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) symptoms
  • Drugs activate free fatty acid receptor 4 (FFA4) in the lungs
  • Activation of FFA4 leads to reduced inflammation and increased air flow in the lungs

Novel class of drugs capable of reversing the symptoms of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have been discovered by a group of scientists.

The research findings are published in Science Translational Medicine .
New Treatment for Asthma and Inflammatory Lung Disease

Mechanism of Action of the Drugs
The team led by University of Glasgow used drugs that work through a mechanism unique from other commonly prescribed medicines for asthma and COPD.

The researchers describe an alternate treatment for patients with severe forms of asthma and COPD.

Free fatty acid receptor 4 (FFA4), a protein in the gut and pancreas is known to respond to fats contained in our diet. FFA4 is generally activated by fats in the diet like fish oil omega 3. It is known to aid control the levels of blood glucose.

FFA4 was discovered in the human lungs by the team.

A new class of drugs that can activate FFA4 in the lungs were designed. Research Findings

The novel drugs resulted in the muscle that surrounds the airways relaxed to allow more air to enter the lung.

Activators of FFA4 also reduced inflammation in mice exposed to pollution, cigarette smoke and allergens that cause asthma.

The researchers concluded that activating FFA4 can reverse hallmarks of inflammatory lung disease.

In summary, around 5.4 million people in the UK are receiving asthma treatment: 1.1 million children and 4.3 million adults.

"By the identification of this new mechanism we offer the hope for new effective medicines for those patients who are not responsive to our current treatments," said Christopher Brightling, from the University of Leicester.

The researchers are very optimistic on extending their findings to develop a new drug treatment for asthma and COPD.

Source: Medindia

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