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Current and Emerging Therapies in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Pulmonary, Bone, Vitamins and Autocoid Therapeutic Agents

  1. John G. Montana,
  2. Hazel J. Dyke,
  3. J. Craig Fox,
  4. Nicholas C. Ray

Published Online: 29 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/0471266949.bmc176

Burger's Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery

Burger's Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery

How to Cite

Montana, J. G., Dyke, H. J., Craig Fox, J. and Ray, N. C. 2010. Current and Emerging Therapies in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Burger's Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery. 747–790.

Author Information

  1. Argenta Discovery, Harlow, Essex, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 29 JAN 2010


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide with an overall prevalence in adults >40 years estimated at 9–10%. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that, by 2020, COPD will be the third leading cause of mortality and the fifth leading cause of morbidity in the world. This smoking-related disease is characterized by progressive airway obstruction that, unlike asthma, is relatively insensitive to bronchodilators and to the classic anti-inflammatory therapy, corticosteroids. Current therapy focuses mainly on reducing symptoms using inhaled short-acting and long-acting bronchodilators either as monotherapies or in combination with inhaled corticosteroids. During the last decade, the pharmaceutical industry has focused on treating COPD distinctly from asthma but no novel agents that target the disease itself have been launched as therapies for this disease. As our understanding of the pathology of COPD has increased it has been established that the progressive pulmonary inflammation that is associated with COPD relates to disease severity. Thus, it is anticipated that drugs that reduce pulmonary inflammation will provide effective, disease-modifying therapies. Here, we consider the potential of anti-inflammatory drugs that are currently in clinical development for COPD and discuss how these might reduce pulmonary inflammation in this disease.


  • anti-inflammatory;
  • bronchodilator;
  • COPD;
  • inhaled corticosteroid;
  • muscarinic