Experimental drug holds promise for COPD

Results from preclinical trials for an experimental drug show that it may offer protection from the respiratory damage caused by cigarettes. In the study, mice were exposed to cigarette smoke for six months. Half were treated with CDDO-Im, while the others were not. Mice treated with the CDDO-Im did not develop heart and lung damage, but their untreated counterparts did. Researchers believe the results hold promise for those suffering form COPD, for which no treatment currently exists.

Scientists have found that a defect in the Nrf2 pathway--which regulates antioxidant and detoxifying pathways--is linked to COPD. Researchers used a molecule called the CDDO-imidazole (CDDO-Im) to stunt the growth of the disease by targeting the Nrf2.

"There have been several studies identifying disrupted oxidant defense systems in COPD," Edelman said. "What's different about this one is that a control point for a whole group of oxidant defenses has been identified in rather elegant studies. Thus, if a therapy up-regulating this site were developed it would be more likely to be effective in COPD," Dr. Normal Edelman, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association, said.

- read more at the Washington Post