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03 Dec 2012 - Local volunteers with severe asthma needed for two worldwide studies

 

Two worldwide studies investigating a potential new treatment for patients with severe asthma are due to commence this month. The studies are open to local participants and urgently require volunteers.

Building on results gathered from a previous study, these latest studies aim to assess the effectiveness of a potential new treatment to relieve severe asthmatic symptoms and medication burden.

Asthmatics who are considered severe are often hospitalised (1) and have more persistent symptoms than other asthma sufferers, despite concentrated treatments.

Professor Phil Bardin who will be leading the studies at Monash Medical Centre/Hospital, says

“These new medicines provide hope for severe asthma sufferers who are crippled by their illness. The treatments have shown great promise to date and can potentially help such persons to regain a normal life. The new treatments also have an excellent safety record.”

The study treatment will be offered to patients in addition to their current asthma medication and will consist of a monthly injection, given either by infusion into a vein (IV) or sub-cutaneous ‘under the skin’ injection (SC).

Participating patients will receive study treatments and study related respiratory medical care at no cost. Suitable patients may also have the opportunity to receive ongoing access to the potential new treatment in an extended study.

Asthma is a non-curable, chronic disease where inflammation and narrowing of the airways causes symptoms including coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing and difficulties in breathing.

Research shows that more than 2 million Australians (2) are affected by asthma. If not properly managed, asthma can be a serious condition and have a considerable impact a patient’s quality of life (3).

While severe asthma patients represent only a small percentage of the asthmatic population, they can incur the greatest direct costs for the treatment of asthma (4).

The studies are being undertaken by GlaxoSmithKline and will take place locally at Monash Medical Centre/ Hospital as well as with six other locations across Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia.

For further information or enquiries about participating in either of these two studies please contact 1800 800 285 or visit www.clinicaltrials.gov or visit the clinical trials page.

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Professor Phil Bardin from Monash Medical Centre/ Hospital is available to speak with media <insert date/time>. If you would like to arrange an interview with Professor Bardin or for further media information please contact:

Emily Barnes | Fenton Communications |emily@fenton.com.au | 0403 308 865
Susie Thomson | Fenton Communications |susie@fenton.com.au | 03 9600 0006

GlaxoSmithKline – one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For further information please visit www.gsk.com.au

Distributed on behalf of GlaxoSmithKline by Fenton Communications.


(1) Jarjour NN, et al; Severe asthma: lessons learned from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Severe Asthma Research Program. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2012; 15;185(4):356-62.
(2) National Asthma Council Australia. Asthma Facts. Available from:http://www.nationalasthma.org.au/what-is-asthma-/asthma-facts Last accessed 25/06/2012
(3) Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Asthma. Available from: http://www.aihw.gov.au/asthma-health-priority-area/#what_asthma Last accessed 25/06/2012
(4) Ambrosino N, Paggiaro P. The management of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: current status and future prospective. Expert Rev. Respir. Med. 2012; 6:117-127