GBI Research LogoThe potential approval of anti-asthmatic calcilytics could address significant unmet needs in the asthma space and give sufferers greater control over their condition, according to business intelligence provider GBI Research.

The company’s latest white paper states that current asthma treatment options are adequate for the majority of patients, but there are a number of patients – roughly one in 12 – that do not respond to them and therefore suffer inadequate disease control.

According to Asthma UK, although it only applies to a minority of patients, this unmet need accounts for around 90% of global healthcare costs associated with asthma.

Callum Dew, Associate Analyst for GBI Research, notes: “A number of studies have now begun to demonstrate the direct relationship between calcium sensing receptors (CaSR) inhibition – through the use of calcilytics – and levels of bodily fluid biomarkers. Certain blood and bodily fluid biomarkers are known to be associated with asthma, and furthermore increased levels of expression of these biomarkers can correlate with disease severity.”

A 2015 study by Cardiff University used an inhaled form of calcilytics in an asthmatic mouse model to show that raised levels of polycations activated the CaSR, preventing asthmatic symptoms. The results were replicated when examining the effect of calcilytics on samples of asthmatic human airway tissue. The researchers concluded that calcilytics may represent effective future asthma therapeutics.

Dew concludes: “Calcilytics have been used for the treatment of osteoporosis for the last 15 years, and although safe and well tolerated, their use has decreased from their previous indication, which could lead to an accelerated time to regulatory approval compared with newly discovered asthma therapeutics. This places these products ahead of first-in-class developmental programmes, which themselves are not direct calcilytics and would take far longer to gain market approval.”