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Asthma: New Discoveries and Therapies in the Age of COVID
Asthma and related diseases in the form of COPD and asthma-COPD are a remarkably common, affecting over 50 million patients in the US alone. Moreover, this disease spectrum overlaps with inflammatory lung disease driven by respiratory viral infection, including COVID-19. In the case of asthma, the pathology is thought to arise from an aberrant type 2 immune response, but the cellular and molecular mechanisms of this response require more precise definition, including any contribution from non-type 2 immune mechanisms. Clinical trials based on these concepts have revealed both successes and also some unforeseen failures that need to be addressed and included in the framework of respiratory viruses in general and SARS-CoV-2 in particular. This Keystone Symposia conference on asthma will highlight the most recent basic science breakthroughs in the pathogenesis of asthma and related inflammatory airway diseases and focus on the development of new therapeutics for asthma and related progressive respiratory disease. In addition, the program will review these discoveries in the context of new therapeutic directions, including the context of emerging information about COVID-19. The program has been designed to emphasize to identify, validate, and translate new disease targets into new therapeutics. The topic is timely and urgent given the recent mechanistic insights into inflammatory airway disease, the current maturation of new biological therapies for this type of disease, and the overlap of this information with progressive lung disease after respiratory viral infections, including COVID-19.