Animal models of asthma: value, limitations and opportunities for alternative approaches

Drug Discov Today. 2011 Aug;16(15-16):659-70. doi: 10.1016/j.drudis.2011.05.014. Epub 2011 Jun 23.


Asthma remains an area of considerable unmet medical need. Few new drugs have made it to the clinic during the past 50 years, with many that perform well in preclinical animal models of asthma, failing in humans owing to lack of safety and efficacy. The failure to translate promising drug candidates from animal models to humans has led to questions about the utility of in vivo studies and to demand for more predictive models and tools based on the latest technologies. Following a workshop with experts from academia and the pharmaceutical industry, we suggest here a disease modelling framework designed to better understand human asthma, and accelerate the development of safe and efficacious new asthma drugs that go beyond symptomatic relief.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Drug Design
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical / methods
  • Humans
  • Species Specificity
  • Translational Research, Biomedical


  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents