In potentially exciting news for asthmatics, researchers from Cardiff University and King’s College are making the bold claim that in as little as five years they may be able to prevent asthmatics from ever having another asthma attack, potentially putting an end to the need for inhalers and nebulizers. How?

They say they’ve finally found the root cause of asthma.

For years we’ve known what asthma is and how it’s often triggered, but not what causes it in the first place. One theory was that it has to do with our calcium receptors (CaSR). In a press release by the team of researchers, they claim they’ve proven this theory correct. Not only that, they also claim they have the solution for preventing asthma altogether-- calcilytics.

Calcilytics are actually a failed class of drugs intended to treat osteoporosis. They affect and manipulate our CaSR, but were ultimately found to be ineffective when it comes to osteoporosis. However, when it comes to asthma, they may be exactly what we need. When studying the effects of calcilytics on mice, the researchers found that the treatment reversed the effects of asthma. “If we can prove that calcilytics are safe when administered directly to the lung in people, then in five years we could be in a position to treat patients and potentially stop asthma from happening in the first place,” said Dr. Daniela Riccardi.

The researchers have designed human trials but are still waiting on funding. Once they have it, they say they’ll be able to start trials in two years.