Research has found a pioneering drug injection can help severe asthma sufferers control their condition.
According to separate studies in the UK and Canada published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), the drug Mepolizumab offers new hope for people with an extreme form of the affliction by controlling asthma and preventing the need for steroids.
Professor Ian Pavord, from Asthma UK and the senior author of the British-based study, said there has been limited research into alternative treatments for the condition over the past ten years, but the benefits that the antibody therapy Mepolizumab could bring are `incredibly exciting`.
Studies of the drug found that severe asthma attacks in people with a persisting type of airway inflammation with inflammatory cells called eosinophils were reduced by 50% when taking the drug.
The antibody therapy could also enable people with severe asthma to stop their use of oral steroids, which can have `significant` side effects.
However, Professor Pavord added: `The key to really maximising the potential of this new therapy is identifying exactly which people with severe asthma will benefit from the treatment, something that can only be determined by measuring airway inflammation.