Temple University Hospital is the lead institution of three hospitals nationwide participating in a Phase II clinical trial on an investigational oral tablet therapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The trial is testing whether the drug will suppress inflammation and ease breathing for patients who suffer from moderate to severe COPD.

The study is testing a drug called YPL-001, which contains an herbal extract from a perennial plant called speedwell. The herb has been used as traditional medicine in Korea and China for more than 100 years to treat inflammatory diseases like asthma and COPD.

Study participants will orally receive either a low dose of 80 milligrams, a high dose of 160 milligrams or a placebo. Over a 60-day period, researchers will check respiratory symptoms on a daily basis to see if there is a change in the inflammatory profile in the lungs and blood.

The measure of success for the trial will be whether patients who receive the low or high dosage have improvement in inflammation due to COPD. If so, researchers will investigate which dose is more effective and move on to a Phase III trial to determine if the drug can prevent lung flare-ups.