Skip to main content

Table 3 Potential new medical treatments for COPD, their mechanisms of action and reported clinical effects

From: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: towards pharmacogenetics

Treatment Mechanism Clinical effects Genes associated with response to therapy* Genes associated with COPD References
Cilomilast PDE4 inhibitor Improvement in FEV1 and quality of life; reduced FEV1 decline; fewer exacerbations - PDE4 [72, 73, 75]
Roflumilast PDE4 inhibitor Improvement in FEV1 - PDE4 [74]
BAYx1005 LTB4 synthesis inhibitor Reduced bronchial inflammation - - [111]
ABX-IL8 Monoclonal antibody specific to IL8 Improvement in dyspnoea and FEV1 early in treatment, but no sustained improvement in lung function by the end of the trial - - [112]
N-acetylcysteine Antioxidant No improvement in lung function or exacerbation frequency - GSTP1, GSTM1, EPHX1, SOD3 and HMOX1 [113]
Infliximab Anti-TNFα No benefit except in cachectic participants, whose 6MWT distance and frequency of hospital admissions improved TNFA TNFA [53, 79]
Marimastat MMP inhibitor Tested in asthma; reduced airway hyper-responsiveness - MMP1 and MMP9 [114]
All-trans-retinoic acid Repairs elastase/smoke induced lung damage Clinical trials in progress; confirm safety pilot studies - - [115]
Montelukast Leukotriene receptor antagonist Improved FEV1 and quality of life; observational study suggested reduced hospital admissions and medication usage LTC4 synthase - [59, 116, 117]
  1. *Refers to all studies of the drug class, which may have been carried out on other diseases. Refers to genes relevant to the pathways on which each listed drug acts. Refers to publications reporting clinical drug trials, studies of pharmacogenetics, and those genetic association studies not listed in Table 2. Further details can be found in the text. Abbreviations: LTB4, leukotriene B4; 6MWT, 6 minute walk test.