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Asthma and hay fever drug trialled in humans

Researchers are hoping that trials of a new drug to treat asthma and hay fever will lead to the medication becoming widely available.

The potentially "ground-breaking" RPL554 drug is to undergo human trials at the Centre for Human Drug Research in the Netherlands, beginning in November.

If successful in trials, the drug could be widely used to treat asthma, hay fever or both conditions.

A statement from Verona Pharma, the company behind the drug, said: "This marks a key milestone in the development of RPL554, which is expected to provide effective treatment for these respiratory diseases but without many of the side-effects reported with most current drug treatments."

RPL554 is predominantly designed to treat asthma, a condition which affects more than five million people in the UK.

Leanne Male, assistant director of Research at Asthma UK, commented: "There hasn't been much progress recently with alternative, effective and practical treatment options for a wide range of people with asthma and hay fever.

"However, by combining anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to overcome airway narrowing in a single long-lasting drug administered via the nose, RPL554 could offer real hope of a significant breakthrough."

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