Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a.k.a. chronic obstructive lung disease (COLD), chronic obstructive airway disease (COAD), chronic airflow limitation (CAL) and chronic obstructive respiratory disease (CORD), is the occurrence of chronic bronchitis and emphysema together. This pair work together to narrow the airways of the lungs leading to breathing problems. The disease is under-diagnosed and under-treated. Smoking tobacco smoking is one of the major causes as is exposure to smoke from coal and wood used as domestic fuels.
In contrast to asthma, breathing problems in COPD are poorly reversible even with powerful bronchodilators and the condition worsens over time. BusinessWire reports that the market for COPD drugs will increase from approximately $8.3 billion in 2010 to more than $13.4 billion by 2020. A lateral part of the market is, of course, influenza vaccination. Most healthcare practitioners recommend that COPD patients receive an annual flu jab. Among the companies hoping to treat COPD is MediciNova, which has a product in the pipeline.
MediciNova’s MN-221 is being developed for the treatment of exacerbations of COPD (and asthma), and was licensed from Kissei Pharmaceutical Co. It is an intravenous beta(2)-adrenergic receptor agonist. MediciNova has completed a Phase 1b clinical study on patients with stable, moderate to severe COPD.