Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a broad term used for progression of various diseases affecting the lungs such as, chronic bronchitis, some forms of bronchiectasis, emphysema and refractory (non-reversible) asthma. Breathlessness and coughing are few of the early symptoms that induce the hypothesis of having COPD, but some people also consider these symptoms as the signs of aging. In no time, these ailments come under severe progression and reveal the rising of other associated diseases. The primary diagnosis of COPD is spirometry, which is the most common form of pulmonary function test that includes measurement of volume and flow of inhaled and exhaled air in the lungs. Therefore, analyzing the breathing pattern may assess the complications involved with the lungs. COPD is a disease that develops over the years and the associated symptoms are wheezing, tightness in chest, increased breathlessness and frequent coughing.
NUMBER OF CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE DRUG CANDIDATES UNDER DEVELOPMENT (2017)
In COPD, the lungs cells lose their quality of elasticity, most of the air sacs are destroyed, and the walls of the airways become thick and inflamed and in some cases also become clogged by mucus. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are the two-main conditions that progress throughout the period of progression of the disease, due to which air sacs lose their shape and become floppy. The destruction of walls of air sacs leads to the enlargement of these sacs, and they no longer remain in their normal shape, which further leads to reduction in the amount of gas exchange in the lungs. According to the data provided by National Institutes of Health (NIH), nearly 12 million adults in the U.S. are suffering from COPD, of which 120,000 people die every year. Therefore, various combination therapies and advanced technologies are driving the growth of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease pipeline. Also, drug manufacturing companies are using various promising targets for the treatment of the disease. Targeted therapy is more effective in achieving good results. The potential targets will possibly stop or slow the progression of the disease with better efficacy and lesser side effects.
As of May 2017, the COPD therapeutics pipeline comprises approximately 65 drug candidates in different stages of development.
Some of the key players developing drugs for the treatment of COPD include Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A., AstraZeneca plc, GlaxoSmithKline plc and others.
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