Let's talk about mast cell inhibitors.
We also call them degranulation inhibitors
but now we have changed the name to just call them
release inhibitor, so you may see one of those three names.
Cromolyn is the prototypical agent in this drug class.
It is an insoluble chemical and has minimal systemic absorption.
It is rarely used now. And eye drop and nasal spray formulations are
sometimes used for allergy to weed dust, what is commonly called hay fever.
Not terribly effective and
we don't really use them clinically either.
Let's move on to IgE antibody mediated therapy.
I have mentioned this type of therapy before.
Monoclonal antibodies are completely changing
the entire aspect of medicine.
I mentioned some of the monoclonal antibodies
in lipid control in my lipid lecture some time ago.
IgE antibody mediated treatment like omalizumab
is a humanized murine monoclonal antibody.
It will bind to the IgE on sensitized mast cells.
It prevents activation by asthma trigger antigens.
Now, it is really expensive.
It's in the tens of thousands of dollars.
My gosh, it's really quite effective.
These are once a week or once every two week injections.
Some of the monoclonal antibodies in other treatment areas
such as rheumatoid arthritis are given once every 3 months and
we're expecting to see some of these agents come out
for asthma that are given more rarely as well.
This is a very exciting area of medicine.
I can't wait to see what happens.
And it's completely changing the way we treat asthma.