Zee Media Bureau
Melbourne: In a development that would lighten the hearts of millions of people suffering from asthma, an Australian scientist is working on a new drug that could help prevent the condition.
Nobel Prize-winning scientist and professor of Microbiology Barry Marshall from the University of Western Australia is developing a drug to counter asthma and allergies to foods such as peanuts and shellfish.
Still in its initial stage the drug can be taken as tablets, capsules, liquids or powder, Xinhua news reported.
Barry Marshall, a microbiology professor from University of Western Australia, who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology in 2005 for stomach ulcer research, is working on the new drug.
The medication, named Immbalance, aims to suppress an overactive immune system.
"This actually arose from work we were doing on helicobacter, the stomach bug, for which Robin Warren and I won the Nobel Prize a few years ago," Marshall said on Friday.
"We've discovered the way it survives in your body is by suppressing the immune system so you can't get rid of it.
"I can't guarantee that it's going to cure allergy sufferers... we think this kind of thing will bring people who are hyper reactive... down into the normal range."
Marshall, who spent the last seven years developing the drug, said that it can be formulated as tablets, capsules, liquids or powder.
"Children could spread the powder on their cereal or put it in a drink and over the course of a few months could suppress their allergic response," he said in a UWA media release.
"We think it's going to be 100 percent safe. It won't remove your immune system; it will just take the edge off."
Asthma is a respratory disease that has no cure. However, there are a number of treatments that can help control the condition. The most common one being rescue inhaler - a small device that delivers a spray or powder medicine to your breathing tubes as you breathe in.
(With IANS inputs)