Are you interested in a new way to treat your asthma or COPD?

Researchers are seeking people with asthma or COPD to participate in a clinical trial. This study will investigate Neutrophil Extracellular Traps (NETs) in asthma and COPD, their effects on the lungs, and whether treatment with a drug called Pulmozyme can improve symptoms.

This study is being completed by leading researchers from the University of Newcastle, Dr Katie Baines, Professor Peter Gibson, Professor Vanessa McDonald and Professor Jodie Simpson in collaboration with Professor Dominik Hartl, from the University of Tübingen, Germany

Who can participate?

Non smoking adults with asthma or COPD over 18 years

What are NETs?

Neutrophil extracellular traps are a mesh work of fibres made up of DNA and inflammatory proteins. They look a lot like spider webs. These NETs are released by a type of cell involved in inflammation called a neutrophil. NETs are important because, if they accumulate, they become toxic to the lungs and worsen symptoms.

The researchers have recently discovered that there is a build up of NETs in people with asthma and COPD. European researchers have also recently found that NETs can be released when you catch a cold or virus, and this is another pathway involved in triggering an asthma attack.

Current asthma and COPD medications do not target NETs and given these recent findings, the researchers would now like to direct treatment towards this new therapeutic target using a drug called Pulmozyme.

What is Pulmozyme?

Pulmozyme is a drug that breaks down NETs. It is a synthetic form of an enzyme that is naturally occurring in the body and is hence well tolerated with minimal side effects. Pulmozyme is currently used to treat another lung disease called cystic fibrosis where it effectively reduces symptoms and lung attacks, however it has not been used as a treatment for asthma or COPD before. The researchers would like to determine if it can also help people with asthma or COPD.

Register your interest

If you are interested in participating in this study or have any questions, please contact Penny Chan on (02) 4042 0122 or Penelope.Chan@newcastle.edu.au