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Soluble IL-4 Receptor - A new boon for asthmatics

Bronchial asthma, the disease which is never an easy combat for any practising physician, is now being avenged by a new drug. A soluble interleukin-4 receptor (IL-4R), which acts as an IL-4 antagonist, appears to be safe and effective in preventing a decline in lung function and in preventing asthma symptoms.

In their study, Dr. Larry C. Borish, from the University of Virginia Health Sciences Center in Charlottesville, and colleagues randomly selected 62 patients with symptoms pertaining to moderate persistent asthma. They were stopped from inhaling corticosteroids and were divided into two groups. In one group IL-4 receptor were given and to the other group placebo was given.

It was found that, after a 12-week trial, those in the IL-4R group,there was no decline in FEV1; however, lung function did decline among those receiving placebo.

This study is "the first...to demonstrate the potential clinical efficacy of a TH2 inhibitor for the treatment of asthma," the investigators note.

This soluble IL-4 receptor, which isn't a corticosteroid, selectivelyinhibits allergic mechanisms will be a new boon in the treatment strategy of asthma.

"These data demonstrate the critical role of IL-4 in the pathogenesis of asthma and the potential benefit of this approach to therapy," Dr. Borish and colleagues conclude.
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