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Results on New Dual Bronchodilator

Phase 3 results of trials of an experimental dual bronchodilator showed patients who used it had an improvement lung function, according to data presented May 20 at the American Thoracic Society meeting in Denver, CO.

The inhaled drug combo, called QVA149 and made by Novartis, is meant for patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Its components are indacaterol, a long-acting beta2-agonist, and glycopyrronium, a long-acting muscarinic antagonist.

Patients in the study used it twice daily.

Data presentations showed the use of the dual broncodilator worked better than use of single broncodilators, and that the safety and tolerability of the dual device was comparable to that of the single components or placebo.

Lead investigator of the trial (known as EXPEDITION) Donald Mahler, MD, director of respiratory services at Valley Regional Hospital in Claremont, NH said patients using the device reported better health status, less breathlessness, and reduced use of rescue medications. The volume of air exhaled was also improved compared to results with the single component inhalers. There was a statistically significant improvement in trough FEV-1 and peak FEV-1.

“Symptom relief is a key objective in the management of COPD,” Mahler said.

The trial consisted of 2 efficacy studies and 1 safety study.

The bronchodilator is already approved for use in Europe and in Japan.