News on Wellness

Companies eager to develop new asthma drugs


More and more companies are getting interested in developing their own injectable biotech asthma drugs for patients with severe disease that can’t be treated with mere traditional inhalers, in pursuit of a new market worth a possible $7.5 billion.
Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline, the leader in asthma treatments since launching its Ventolin inhaler in 1969, is in the forefront but now faces competition from the likes of Roche, AstraZeneca, Sanofi and Teva.
Despite treatment advances in recent decades, asthma is one of the many deadly disease that are hard to control – with 20 percent of patients on standard therapy, which consists of inhaled steroids and long-acting beta agonists that are created to open the airways.

This patient group involves those with serious disease, thought to number around 2 million in leading industrialized nations, as told by consultancy Decision Resources.
Novel antibody-based drugs now that is about to be launched offer a way to get to the root of the problem as it targets key inflammatory chemicals that comes from the body that power asthma. The drugs are being hailed by doctors as a major advance.

In particular, the new injectable medicines have prevented some severe asthma attacks, known as exacerbations, of around 40 to 60 percent in clinical trials.

These threats might require hospital treatment and can even cause death for some people -threatening – dominate the lives of people with severe asthma and represent a big financial burden to healthcare systems that provides emergency care.

The new drugs has a more personalized approach to asthma care, with patients undergoing so-called “biomarker” blood tests to check whether or not they are likely to respond to the medicines.
Such approach is targeted approach is increasing getting popular among the medical fields, most notably cancer. It is appealing to governments and insurers who pay for healthcare, since it means that those who really need it are the ones that will benefit.

There is lots of money that can be saved if a patient doesn’t need to go to the hospital anymore. That means that companies that produce such drugs can demand a high price for their drugs.
Seamus Fernandez of Leerink has a prediction that the market for severe asthma biotech drugs would go up to more than $7.5 billion a year in the United States and Europe alone. Now more e cautious and expects a price tag of something under $10,000, which reflects an increasingly competitive landscape.
That would mean that the price of Xolair, from Novartis and Roche, which is the only biotech asthma drug sold at present; can demand for a higher price.

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