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Did you know that during the 1930's and 1940's, asthma was considered a psychosomatic disease? It is now one of the fastest increasing medical conditions in the United States, which reportedly affects one out of every four urban children, according to the Journal of Allergy Clinical Immunology. If you didn't see James Altucher's video interview about George Soros which discusses asthma stocks, you should take a look at it.

Here are ten companies involved in the production and marketing of drugs for the treatment of asthma. Obviously, this is a small part of the business of some of the major pharmaceutical companies. But when the second best selling drug in the world is used to treat asthma, this is apparently a major business opportunity.

  • Glaxosmithkline plc (GSK) is a British-based pharmaceutical company. It produces Advair, also branded as Seretide, the second highest selling drug in the world, for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and Flixotide [Flovent], an inhaled steroid for the treatment of asthma related inflammation. It also sells Serevent for asthma treatment. The stock has a P/E of 11, a PEG of 4.19, and pays a yield of 5.9%.

  • MAP Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (MAPP) has various products in clinical development, including Unit Dose Budesonide for pediatric asthma in children, and MAP0005 for the treatment of adolescent and adult asthma. The stock has been generating negative earnings.

  • Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) produces the popular drug Singulair, the 15th best-selling drug in the world, which is a leukotriene receptor antagonist for the treatment of asthma. The stock has a P/E of 30, a PEG of 1.36, and pays a yield of 3.40%.

  • AstraZeneca plc (AZN) based in London, produces Symbicort for the maintenance treatment of asthma. It also produces Pulmicort for the treatment of asthma, and is one of the top 80 best selling drugs. The stock has a P/E of 10, a PEG of 2.46, and pays a yield of 5%.

  • Roche Holdings Ltd. (OTCQX:RHHBY) produces Xolair for the treatment of asthma. The stock has a P/E of 14, and a PEG of 1.51.

  • Genentech Inc. (DNA) is in partnership with Roche for the production of the Xolair asthma drug. The stock has a P/E of 31, and a PEG of 1.04.

  • Sepracor, Inc. (SEPR) sells XOPENEX [levalbuterol HCl] for the treatment of asthma and bronchospasm of the lungs. The stock has a P/E of 37, and a PEG of 0.7.

  • Schering-Plough Corp. (SGP) produces Foradil and Asmanex for the treatment of asthma. The stock has a forward P/E of 11, a PEG of 0.7, and pays a yield of 1.30%.

  • Sanofi-Aventis (SNY) has the drug Alvesco [ciclesonide] used for the treatment of asthma. The stock has a P/E of 12, a PEG of 3.43, and pays a yield of 2.70%.

  • Theravance Inc. (THRX) is a south, San Francisco-based biopharmaceutical company that develops long-acting beta2 agonist products for the treatment of asthma. The stock has been generating negative earnings.

  • Source: Ten Companies Involved in Treating Asthma