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Investigational Drug Effective for Asthma and COPD

FRIDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- An investigational dual-targeted drug is safe and an effective bronchodilator, bronchoprotector, and anti-inflammatory that may be useful for the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a study published online Oct. 25 in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

As part of four small proof-of-concept studies, Lui G. Franciosi, Ph.D., from Verona Pharma in London, and colleagues examined the safety and efficacy of an inhaled dual phosphodiesterases 3 and 4 inhibitor, RPL554, for the treatment of mild-to-moderate asthma or COPD.

The researchers found that nebulized RPL554 produced bronchodilation in patients with mild-to-moderate COPD, with a 17.2 percent increase in forced expiratory volume in one second. In patients with airway disease, RPL554 produced rapid bronchodilation and peak effects similar to those obtained with inhaled β2 agonists, which was maintained in asthma patients with repeated dosing. In healthy volunteers, RPL554 could inhibit lipopolysaccharide-induced recruitment of sputum neutrophils, demonstrating an anti-inflammatory effect of similar magnitude to oral roflumilast in sputum from patients with COPD. Overall, RPL554 was well tolerated.

"In four exploratory studies, inhaled RPL554 is an effective and well tolerated bronchodilator, bronchoprotector, and anti-inflammatory drug and further studies will establish the full potential of this new drug for the treatment of patients with COPD or asthma," Franciosi and colleagues conclude.

The study was funded by Verona Pharma; several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Verona.

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