α1-antitrypsin is also known as α1-protease inhibitor. This enzyme breaks down the elastases, which enhance the destruction of lung tissue. A product has been genetically engineered to supplement patients with low α1-antitrypsin levels. However, it is estimated that the annual costs of this therapy are near 35000.
α1-antitrypsin is commonly given to ex-smokers with emphysema.
Extra info: Due to the intraveneous administration and the prohibitive costs of this therapy, emphysema patients are rarely offered this treatment.