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PhRMA: More than 50 drugs in development for COPD


WASHINGTON — More than 50 drugs are under development for treating a respiratory disease that is the third-leading cause of death in the United States.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America released a list Thursday of 54 drugs in clinical development for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.

COPD, which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, affects more than 13 million adults in the United States and causes obstructed airflow to the lungs, and the number of people with the disease is increasing, according to the National Institutes of Health, which estimated that 12 million may have the disease without knowing it.

"Early detection of COPD is imperative, as effective treatment can change the course and progression of this devastating disease," PhRMA president and CEO John Castellani said. "The promising new therapies highlighted in this report illustrate how emerging scientific approaches to treatment respiratory diseases, such as COPD, offer great hope to improve and save the lives of future patients."

The new drugs include a medicine that targets the underlying inflammation in COPD, a biotech drug that acts on the biological processes involved in the disease's inflammatory component and an adult stem cell therapy that targets a protein in the blood often elevated in patients with the disease, PhRMA said.

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