Q42:Why would the development of new drugs used in treatment of allergies, be very attractive for pharmaceutical companies?
Answer: It has proved to be very difficult to develop new classes of antiasthma therapy, partly because existing drugs, and particularly inhaled corticosteroids are so effective. The only new class of drug developed in 25 years have been the antileukotrienes which are less effective than inhaled corticosteroids. There is a need to develop new treatments for asthma, since patients with severe asthma are not well controlled on doses of corticosteroids that are safe, and there is a problem of poor compliance with existing inhaler therapy. Several drugs are now in development for asthma. New bronchodilators have been difficult to develop as new drugs are less effective than β2-agonists and have more side effects. Mediator antagonists have proved disappointing as so many mediators are involved in asthma. Inhibitors of cytokines, such as interleukin (IL)-5, IL-4 and eotaxin, which may inhibit eosinophilic inflammation, are now in clinical development. Other approaches include more selective immunomodulation, anti-IgE antibodies, adhesion molecule blockers and kinase inhibitors. Preventive treatments in the future may include drugs that alter the immune abnormalities in atopy by stimulating a protective Th1 immunity. A cure for asthma does not seem likely in the near future instead of that development of new drugs used in the treatment of allergy are attractive because of their compliance and less toxic effects.
« Q41: You are reviewing the results of a clinical research study on a new compound with action similar to Warfarin (Coumadin). What would be the most dangerous side effect of such a drug? Q43:What unique qualities should a new drug for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease possess in order to become successful? »