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Major Asthma Research Discovery Could Lead to New Drugs
Date:3/18/2009

Findings Licensed to Biotechnology Firm

SAN FRANCISCO, March 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Asthma Foundation announced that a significant research discovery they funded has been licensed by a leading biotech company. This move could lead to potential new drugs for treating asthma by blocking certain cell interactions that produce lung inflammation and constrict airways. The studies leading to these findings were conducted by Michael Croft, Ph.D. at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology in La Jolla, California, a non-profit biomedical research institute and international leader in immunology research.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090318/SF85226)

Dean Smith, Executive Director of the American Asthma Foundation, said, "The reality of scientific research is that it often takes several decades for a so-called 'discovery at the bench' to become an approved product or treatment. There are many, many steps along the way including understanding the underlying science, translating the science to a new drug or therapy, conducting animal and human studies, and progressing through medical approval processes. We are excited that Dr. Croft's research finding has now moved to the next phase where its use in potential new drugs to treat asthma can be further explored."

Discussing the role of the American Asthma Foundation in improving treatment, preventing, and finding a cure for asthma, Ms. Marion O. Sandler, chairman of the Foundation's board, points out, "The American Asthma Foundation is the only national advocacy group in the United States devoted solely to asthma. Sad to say, there is no cure for asthma and little progress has been made in 50 years in improving treatment. Dr. Croft's discovery is very significant, not only because of the great need to develop new treatments for asthma but a
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SOURCE American Asthma Foundation
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