Researchers at Queen's University Belfast have discovered a novel experimental treatment for chronic lung diseases that could improve the lives for people with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
"We know that this enzyme plays a key role in provoking symptoms of chronic lung diseases such as CF and COPD. We have now discovered that treatment to target this specific enzyme can significantly reduce inflammation, lung damage and mucus obstruction, key hallmark features of CF and COPD."
Professor Taggart explained: "Many drugs are developed as enzyme inhibitors but they don't target specific enzymes. This general approach may lead to significant issues including increased infection. The specific targeting of cathepsin S enables the delivery of a much more targeted treatment to address the symptoms without unwanted side effects."
Lead author Dr Weldon from Queen's University added: "Thanks to this research, we now understand the causes and how to reduce the symptoms associated with both CF and COPD. Moving forward, we need to apply this knowledge in further testing so that ultimately, we can improve the quality of life for those affected by these diseases."
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