RASP-UK on World Asthma Day 2016

Inspite of very safe and effective treatment, Bronchial asthmatics do not respond well in 5 – 10% of cases which are labelled as Refractory Asthma. Besides compliance, presence of psychogenic and trigger factors and comorbid illness, steroid insensitiveness or resistance may play a significant role in the poorly controlled/ responding asthmatics.

The UK Refractory Asthma Stratification Programme (RASP-UK) is exploring novel biomarker stratification strategies in severe asthma to improve clinical management and accelerate development of new therapies. Prior asthma mechanistic studies have not stratified on inflammatory phenotype and the understanding of pathophysiological mechanisms in asthma without Type 2 cytokine inflammation is limited.

RASP-UK objectively assesses adherence to corticosteroids and examines a novel composite biomarker strategy to optimise corticosteroid dose; we are also addressing what proportion of patients with severe asthma have persistent symptoms without eosinophilic airways inflammation after progressive corticosteroid withdrawal.

The programme, that involves interactive partnerships with the pharmaceutical industry, is intended to facilitate access to stratified populations for novel therapeutic studies. World Asthma Day 2016 sees the RASP-UK partners celebrating the flying start to the project. The biostratification aspect of the project has already identified 46 patients, of which 27 have already been randomised into the study. As the project picks up speed we expect to see randomisation of a further seven patients next week.

World Asthma Day is an annual event organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) to improve asthma awareness and care around the world and takes place on the first Tuesday of May. The inaugural World Asthma Day was held in 1998.

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