Chiesi has been developing medicines to treat respiratory disease for more than 30 years. Thanks to modern treatments, patients with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have a better chance to live more active lives.
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease involving extreme hypersensitivity of the airways. The most common symptoms are coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and tightness in the chest - usually intermittent, and unpredictable in duration and severity.
In the UK currently, c.5.4 million people are treated for asthma, costing the NHS around £1 billion a year.1
Apart from a genetic predisposition, asthma can have a wide variety of causes that can result in swelling of the mucous membranes, narrowing of the airways and increased mucus production.
Although the exact causes are unknown, asthma often occurs with other allergic conditions such as eczema and hay fever. Asthma attacks can be triggered for example, by pollen, dust, feathers, furry animals, exercise, viral infections, stress, chemicals and tobacco smoke.
Most people's asthma can usually be controlled by using medication which can help relieve symptoms or help prevent future symptoms and attacks.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is the collective term for conditions such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema, which prevent people from breathing properly because the flow of air into the lungs is obstructed.
In the UK alone, it is likely over a million people live with COPD and it claims more than 28,000 lives a year.2 The main cause is smoking, but it can also be caused by past exposure to fumes, chemicals and dust at work.
COPD is incurable because it causes permanent lung damage, but treatment and medication can help make breathing easier.
What is Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is one of the UK's most common life-threatening genetic diseases. It affects around 10,400 people in the UK and approximately 1 in every 2,500 babies born in the UK will have CF.3
CF is the result of a faulty gene in our DNA. Around 1 person in 25 carries the faulty CF gene, often without knowing. If two people who carry the CF gene have a baby, there is a 1 in 4 chance of the baby having CF.
In people with CF the internal organs, especially the lungs and digestive system become clogged with thick sticky mucus. This makes it difficult to digest food so people with CF suffer from malnutrition and need high-fat high-calorie diets as well as enzyme tablets to help them digest food. With regard to the lungs, the thick sticky mucus results in chronic infections in the lungs which causes inflammation and damages lung function. CF can also cause many other health problems such as fertility problems.3
CF is currently a life-limiting disease. In the mid-1970s, the median survival age for people with CF was only 10 years of age.4 However, the development of effective therapies and management strategies over the last 40 years, has resulted in the median predicted survival increasing to 47 years of age in 2016.5
This increase in survival means that there are now more adults than children with CF and people with CF can expect to have opportunities for further education and careers and some also start families.6
An ageing CF population does however present the challenge of needing more treatment options to help maintain good health for longer.7, 8
At Chiesi, we are committed to tackling this challenge through the provision medicines for CF that aim to maintain lung health, particularly through adulthood.
Chiesi’s CF portfolio currently contains three products:
Chiesi are also committed to supporting CF specialists and their patients, in the UK and Ireland, through various CF initiatives, including a number of educational events each year.
UK-CHI-1900163 April 2019