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Chemical Biology: Approaches to Drug Discovery and Development to Targeting Disease by Natanya Civjan

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Chapter 17: Allergy and Asthma

Garry M. Walsh

University of Aberdeen, School of Medicine, Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom

Current therapies for asthma and allergy are aimed at controlling disease symptoms. For most asthmatics, inhaled anti-inflammatory therapy is effective, but a subset of patients remains symptomatic despite optimal treatment creating a clear unmet medical need. Although considered a less-serious condition than asthma, allergic diseases are common and considerably impact on the quality of life of affected individuals. Innovative disease-modifying therapeutics are needed for both allergy and asthma. Biopharmaceutical approaches may identify small molecules that target key cells and mediators that drive the inflammatory responses that underlie the pathogenesis of allergy and asthma.

Asthma and allergy are important conditions whose complex pathology is influenced by both environmental and genetic factors. Although effective anti-inflammatory therapy is available for both conditions, this therapy is used when symptoms develop and is not always effective in all subjects with asthma and/or allergy. Asthma and allergy share some common pathological features including the overexpression of inflammatory mediators that result in leukocyte accumulation and changes in structural cell function. We have considerable knowledge regarding the cells mediators and factors that control the pathogenic changes in asthma and allergy. This information has informed the identification ...

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