Novartis says trials show its COPD drug more effective versus GSK’s Seretide

pharmafile | May 16, 2016 | News story | Research and Development, Sales and Marketing GSK, Novartis, drug trial, research 

Swiss drug firm Novartis (VTX: NOVN) said its asthma drug showed efficacy over GlaxoSmithKline’s (LSE: GSK) medicine in a comparison study. 

The company said its Ultibro Breezhaler (indacaterol/glycopyrronium bromide) was more effective in mcg in reducing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations versus Seretide (salmeterol/fluticasone). 

The study results are expected to impact the future management and treatment of COPD patients, the company said in a statement. The study is part of Phase III clinical trials for Ultibro Breezhaler to treat COPD. 

Preventing exacerbations is one of the primary goals of long-term care for COPD patients. These episodes have a detrimental effect on quality of life and disease progression, contributing to further lung function decline. 

Vasant Narasimhan, global head drug development and chief medical officer for Novartis said: “Reducing exacerbations is absolutely critical to improve outcomes and quality of life for COPD patients. The FLAME study has clearly shown that Ultibro Breezhaler is superior to the current standard of care in reducing exacerbations, marking a shift away from therapies containing steroids for the optimal treatment of COPD patients.” 

COPD affects an estimated 210 million people worldwide and is the third leading cause of death. It is progressive, and can be a life-threatening disease. COPD makes it difficult to breathe, with symptoms that have a destructive impact on patients’ function and quality of life. 

Anjali Shukla

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