Danirixin May Offer New Hope For COPD
There are currently 130 respiratory medicines in the pipeline.1 Many of these are specifically for the treatment of COPD. I spotlighted 10 of these in my post, “10 Medicines In The Pipeline.” Here I would like to focus on just one potential medicine. It’s a medicine, if it’s approved by the FDA, that may bode well for COPD. Here’s what to know.
What is neutrophilic inflammation?
Both asthma and COPD involve airway inflammation. This inflammation is chronic, meaning it’s always there. As we know, asthma and COPD are similar in many ways. Airway inflammation is one example of how they are similar. But they are also different in many ways. The fact that this airway inflammation is caused by different types of cells is one example of how they are different.
Asthma inflammation tends to be eosinophilic. This means it’s caused by specialized white blood cells (WBCs) called eosinophils. This type of inflammation typically responds well to corticosteroids. It can be controlled by taking inhaled corticosteroids every day. This is how most asthmatics are able to obtain good asthma control. This means asthma symptoms are rare and easily reversed when they do occur.
Eosinophilic inflammation is present in COPD to some degree. However, researchers are learning that corticosteroids don’t always work for COPD. They now believe this is because COPD involves neutrophilic inflammation. This means it’s caused by specialized WBCs called neutrophils. This type of inflammation responds poorly to corticosteroids.
This makes it difficult for many people with COPD to obtain good COPD control. It’s because, at the present time, there is no medicine to control neutrophilic inflammation. And this is where I believe a medicine like Danirixin would come into play. It’s a medicine to reduce and control neutrophilic inflammation.2
What is Danirixin?
Airway inflammation is caused by pro-inflammatory chemicals. These are proteins secreted by immune cells. They are secreted into your bloodstream in response to your inhaling harmful substances. They cause inflammation to trap (and kill if necessary) harmful substances.
Harmful substances may include viruses and bacteria. They may also include microscopic irritants in the air inhaled. It may also include chemicals in inhaled air, such as what happens when we inhale smoke. Your immune system responds by releasing pro-inflammatory chemicals.
With asthma, pro-inflammatory chemicals include interleukine 13 (IL13) and Interleukin 5 (IL5). IL13 directly causes airway inflammation. IL5 recruits eosinophils. At the present time, certain asthma medicines and biologics can reduce this type of airway inflammation.
With COPD, one pro-inflammatory chemical is Interleukin 8 (IL8). This is a protein that recruits neutrophils. These proteins bind to receptors on airway cells. These receptors are called CXCR2. So, IL8 is rendered harmless if this CXCR2 receptor is blocked. And this is the goal of Danirixiin. It is a CXCR2 antagonist.2-4
Are researchers closing in better treatment?
So, Danirixin is a type of medicine that may help reduce neutrophilic inflammation. If approved by the FDA, it may help people currently living with COPD. If COPD is diagnosed in the early stages, this may help slow or prevent the progression of the disease. That’s me speculating somewhat, but there is definitely promise here. But this is similar to what researchers do: speculate.
This medicine is currently in phase 2 of the 4 phases of clinical trials. Phase 2 is essentially where medicine is studied to see if it does what researchers speculate it will do. It’s also where researchers look into potential side effects and how to minimize them. They also attempt to learn what dose works best.5
So, there is still a long way to go. But, this is one medicine worth keeping an eye on. It may or may not pan out. And there may be other similar medicines out there. So, I’m not endorsing Danirixin. Still, I write articles like this to show you how deep COPD research is getting. This research is what will one day lead to better medicine to prevent, treat, and even cure COPD.
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, RLS, sleep apnea) in addition to COPD?