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Pictured Above: Dr. Paul O’Byrne, right, and Dr. Gail Gauvreau have discovered and tested a potential antibody that successfully relieves inflammation for those with mild allergic asthma. (Photo Credit: Chantall Van Raay, McMaster University)


Researchers at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and McMaster University have successfully tested an antibody that can improve the quality of life for individuals with asthma by relieving inflammation in the lungs. The antibody both alleviates baseline inflammation and provides resistance to allergens for those with mild allergic asthma by blocking a specific protein in the lungs.

The study was co-authored by Dr. Paul O’Byrne, executive director at the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and professor of medicine at McMaster University.

The research was supported by the Allergy, Genes and Environment Network (AllerGen) and recruited patients at five sites across Canada, with the majority of participants recruited in Hamilton. After 12 weeks of participant monitoring, the antibodies significantly reduced baseline inflammation and protected the participants against inhaled allergens when compared to a placebo.   

“It was known that the epithelial cells which line the airways in the lungs produce a protein called thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) that causes inflammation.  This study, for the first time, proved that these cells continually produce this protein in humans with asthma,” states O’Byrne. “While we studied patients with allergic asthma, this research opens the door for the development of new treatments not only for this population, but for those diagnosed with severe asthma as well.”

The study’s findings were presented at the American Thoracic Society conference in San Diego on Tuesday, May 20th and published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Learn more about the study from Dr. O’Byrne’s media interviews:


Reporter Stacey Escott interviews Dr. Paul O’Byrne in the The Hamilton Spectator: Hamilton Researchers Discover Potential Asthma Treatment (Also appearing in Metroland’s and The Brampton Guardian)


Listen to him on The Bill Kelly Show on AM900 CHML (Wednesday, May 21st at 11:05 a.m.) (Interview Part 1 and Part 2)


Watch Dr. O’Byrne on the following national news programs:


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