The last twenty years have witnessed enormous efforts by the pharmaceutical industry in the search for new drugs for the treatment of asthma. During this time, as a result of the efforts of asthma researchers in many disciplines, there has been an unprecedented increase in our knowledge about asthma as a disease and about the pharmacology of the existing anti-asthma drugs. This increase in knowledge should have generated information from which directions for future anti-asthma drug research and development might be predicted. Thus, we felt it was timely to invite a group of leading international pharmacologists to meet together on the occasion of the Xth International Congress of Pharmacology, being held for the first time in Australia (in Sydney August 23- 28th, 1987), for a satellite meeting to discuss the topic "New drugs for asthma". The proceedings of this small workshop are presented in this book. The meeting was unique in that leading pharmacologists from most of the pharmaceutical companies involved in the development of anti-asthma drugs were present. All participants, whether from the industry or from academia, were active researchers involved in providing the animal data and in carrying out human pharmacological studies, on new anti asthma drugs. Although the proceedings have been subtitled into "symptomatic" and "prophylactic" anti-asthma drugs for the purposes of presentation, this is not meant to pinpoint the idea that we believe such clear cut differences necessarily exist. In fact, they may not exist.