About CRS

Twelve percent (12%) of the US population (nearly 1 in 8 adults) suffer from rhinosinusitis, making it one of the most common health conditions in the US.  14 million people in the US experience persistent and severe symptoms, called chronic rhinosinusitis, or CRS.

Living with lasting CRS symptoms results in sleep disturbances, daytime fatigue, depression, and anxiety, severely impacting a person’s well-being and quality of life, both personally and professionally.  A typical CRS sufferer misses 18 workdays per year, has a 36% reduction in on-the-job effectiveness, suffers a 38% loss of productivity, and often cancels social engagements.

Since symptoms develop slowly over time, CRS is typically diagnosed in young or middle-aged adults. Several studies illustrate a mean diagnosis age of 39 years old – the prime of life.  Patients and their physicians must manage the impacts and resulting costs of this chronic disease for a lifetime, often 30 to 40 years or more.

Diagnosing CRS

CRS patients experience at least two of four cardinal symptoms (4CS) for more than 12 weeks, including nasal blockage, facial pain and pressure, nasal discharge, and decreased sense of smell.  Because it can be difficult to differentiate these symptoms from those of other similar conditions, a CT scan or nasal endoscopy is performed to confirm nasal inflammation, the hallmark of CRS.

These diagnostic techniques also identify whether the patient has nasal polyps, which are benign tear-shaped masses that arise in the nasal mucosa, afflict about one-third of CRS sufferers, and further exacerbate CRS symptoms.  Comprehensive CRS diagnosis has a significant impact on treatment choice.

Unmet Medical Need in CRS

The goals of therapy for CRS are to reduce mucosal swelling resulting from underlying inflammation, remove existing nasal polyps, promote sinus drainage, and eradicate infections that may be present.  CRS treatment is progressive in nature, with CRS sufferers first trying various over-the-counter remedies.  A physician may prescribe a topical intranasal or oral steroid.  Topical nasal steroid sprays are not designed to reach the sight of inflammation deep within the nasal passages, clear quickly, and require multiple daily applications.  Systemic exposure to oral steroids presents safety concerns.

Currently, there are no FDA approved drug therapies for CRS for non-polyp patients, although some drugs approved for nasal polyps are used off label in this population.

Roughly 50% of patients fail management with medication and may be referred for sinus surgery performed by an ENT surgeon.  Only about one-third of patients follow-through with surgery, and those that do, often require revision surgeries. Daily medication is required for a lifetime, which may or may not be effective.

CRS treatments are required that will be effective for a variety of patients, not just based upon the presence or absence of nasal polyps identified in today’s clinical evaluations. None of the current CRS treatment options offer a sustained solution required for a lifetime of disease management.

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