Asthama root cause was found in a protein and its cure was related to a drug developed originally to treat osteoporosis or bone disease, said researchers.
With this finding, new cure to asthma is just five years away, say researchers.
The protein in question is called calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) that plays a key role in causing asthma. The study used mouse models of asthma and human airway tissue from asthmatic and non-asthmatic people to arrive at the new findings.
The findings highlight the effectiveness of a class of drugs known as calcilytics in manipulating CaSR to reverse all symptoms associated with asthama, said researchers.
“If we can prove that calcilytics are safe when administered directly to the lung in people, then in 5 years we could be in a position to treat patients,” said Prof Daniela Riccardi from Cardiff University School of Biosciences in Britain.
Not only the cure but also the researchers are keen to potentially stop asthma from happening in the first place. About 300 million people across the world suffer from asthma.
Among those affected with the condition, only 1 in 12 patients respond negatively to the controlling mechanism now.
“For the first time, we have found a link between airways inflammation, which can be caused by environmental triggers — such as allergens, cigarette smoke and car fumes — and airways twitchiness in allergic asthma,” Prof Daniela Riccardi said.
Their paper published in the journal Science Translational Medicine shows how these triggers release chemicals that activate CaSR in airway tissue and boost asthma symptoms like airway twitchiness, inflammation, and narrowing of air canal.
“Using calcilytics, nebulised directly into the lungs, we show that it is possible to deactivate CaSR and prevent all of these symptoms,” Riccardi said.