Epithelial Science

Our commitment to the severe asthma community and expanding scientific knowledge around the drivers and biological mechanisms of asthma

Home / Our therapy areas / Respiratory & Immunology / Epithelial Science


Following the science to improve patient outcomes

Severe asthma is a debilitating disease that affects up to 34 million people worldwide, resulting in frequent exacerbations and significant limitations on lung function and quality of life. We know that many people with asthma are underserved today and that asthma remains a significant public, and personal, health challenge.

Managing severe asthma is challenging because airway inflammation is complex, heterogeneous and dynamic. Patients often present with more than one type of inflammation, complicating their treatment.

Despite treatment advancements and increased scientific understanding over the last two decades, there remains vast potential to improve treatment particularly for patients with unknown, unclear, or multiple drivers of inflammation. That’s why our scientists are working to further expand scientific knowledge around the drivers and biological mechanisms of asthma to tackle the disease pathophysiology in new and powerful ways.

At AstraZeneca, we’re building on our 50-year heritage in respiratory care by pursuing scientific breakthroughs that will revolutionise our understanding of the pathophysiology of asthma and inform the development of much-needed innovation that could improve patient care and outcomes.

We’re developing new ways of bringing treatments forward. This includes new drug modalities beyond the inhaled and biologic medicines of today, making no target undruggable. Bringing precision medicine capabilities to identify the patients that respond and creating the next generation clinical trials which leverage technology to ease the burden on patients.

Maria Belvisi Senior Vice President and Head of Research and Early Development, Respiratory & Immunology, BioPharmaceuticals R&D


We’re advancing the science to understand the underlying drivers and the biological mechanisms of asthma. This is a time of unprecedented possibility for scientific breakthroughs. We know how many people are underserved today and we are absolutely committed to advancing the science that will give them a better future.

Richard Marshall Senior Vice President and Global Head of Respiratory & Immunology Late Stage Development, BioPharmaceuticals R&D

References

1. Wenzel S. Severe asthma in adults. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2005; 172: 149-160.

2. The Global Asthma Network. The Global Asthma Report 2018. [Online]. Available at: http://www.globalasthmanetwork.org/publications/Global_Asthma_Report_2018.pdf.[Last accessed: February 2021].

3. Chung KF, Wenzel SE, Brozek JL, et al. International ERS/ATS guidelines on definition, evaluation and treatment of severe asthma. Eur Respir J. 2014; 43: 343-373.

4. Peters SP, Ferguson G, Deniz Y, et al. Uncontrolled asthma: a review of the prevalence, disease burden and options for treatment. Respir Med 2006: 100: 1139-51.

5. Fernandes AG, Souza-Machado C, Coelho RC, et al. Risk factors for death in patients with severe asthma. J Bras Pneumol. 2014; 40 (4): 364-372.

6. The Global Asthma Network. The Global Asthma Report 2018. [Online]. Available at: http://www.globalasthmanetwork.org/publications/Global_Asthma_Report_2018.pdf.[Last accessed: February 2021].

7. Chen S, et al. Systematic literature review of the clinical, humanistic, and economic burden associated with asthma uncontrolled by GINA Steps 4 or 5 treatment. Curr Med Res Opin. 2018;34:2075–2088

Veeva ID: Z4-38974
Date of Preparation: November 2011