COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) – Mologic’s new exacerbation alert
Mologic has set its sights on producing a product for COPD patients to help them manage their condition.
COPD is the name for a collection of lung diseases including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It is characterised by airflow limitation. The disease is both preventable and treatable but unfortunately not reversible. Airflow limitation is usually progressive and associated with an abnormal inflammatory response of the lungs to noxious particles or gases, primarily caused by cigarette smoking. Although COPD affects the lungs, it also produces significant systemic consequences (Agusti 2007).
COPD is common in later life: it is estimated that 3 million people in the UK have the disease. With over 25,000 deaths every year, it is the fourth commonest cause of death.
Every time a COPD patient suffers a flare-up (exacerbation) of their condition, irreversible lung damage occurs. Hospitalisation may be required. In fact 1 in 8 hospital admissions are due to COPD. This makes COPD the second largest cause of emergency admissions, and one of the most expensive inpatient conditions treated by the NHS.
Within 90 days of admission to hospital due to COPD and its complications, 33% of patients are re-admitted and 14% will have died (Roberts 2002).
Mologic’s COPD Diagnostic.
An exciting outcome from our ongoing research into chronic respiratory inflammatory disease, has been the development of a new diagnostic product for use by COPD patients to provide early warning of acute exacerbations of their condition.
Intended for use in the home, it is convenient and non-invasive. It will test the levels of various key biomarkers in the patient’s urine and the result will enable patients to manage their condition.
We believe that this diagnostic will satisfy the aspiration expressed by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD, 2015):
“In the future, a biomarker or panel of biomarkers that allows a more precise etiologic diagnosis would be desirable.”
Advance warning of an acute exacerbation will enable the patient to take appropriate prophylactic action, and if necessary, seek medical assistance. Prevention of a full blown exacerbation will help avoid the irreversible lung function decline usually associated with exacerbations, and the need for expensive hospitalisation.
Future development of this approach will enable discrimination between neutrophilic and eosinophilic exacerbations. This will enable the physician to prescribe the best possible treatment for the patient, and avoid unnecessary prescription of antibiotics.
A Agusti et al. (2007).
Systemic Effects of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Proceedings of the American Thoracic Society, 4 (7): 522-525.
K R Chapman et al. (2006).
Epidemiology and costs of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
European Respiratory Journal. 27: 188-207.
Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease, GOLD (2015).
Global strategy for the diagnosis, management, and prevention of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (GOLD). Updated 2015.
C D Mathers & D Loncar (2006).
Projections of global mortality and burden of disease from 2002 to 2030.
PLoS Medicine 3(11): e442.
C M Roberts et al. (2002).
Clinical audit indicators of outcome following admission to hospital with acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
C Tidy (2014)
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Condition Leaflet
Patient Info Website. Document ID 4219 (v42)
World Health Organization (2006).
Burden of COPD.