For the first time, Novartis presented recent results showing a once-a-day Ultibro® Breezhaler® reduces disease exacerbations, i.e. an increase in disease severity, and improves lung function in patients with moderate-to-severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) at the European Respiratory Society (ERS) International Congress, in Munich, Germany. These findings were analyzed in comparison with twice-a-day Seretide® Accuhaler® (SFC) and, therefore, constitute a new and improved treatment.
More specifically, the LANTERN study showed a 31% reduction on the risk for exacerbations (meaning an increase in disease severity) and a significant increase in lung function after 26 weeks of treatment, compared to SFC.
Vasant Narasimhan, Global Head of Development, Novartis Pharmaceuticals said, “These new results from LANTERN provide further evidence of the potential of Ultibro Breezhaler to deliver better exacerbation reduction and improvements in lung function, compared to the current standard of care.”
In agreement with the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease 2014 guidelines, the LANTERN study demonstrates the efficacy of steroid-free treatment, since it lacks fluticasone, a steroid and main component of SFC, to treat COPD patients (from moderate to severe symptoms).
COPD is a delimiting disease, since patients experience shortness of breath with simple daily activities, such as climbing stairs. Current therapeutics are still inefficient for the group of patients who remain symptomatic despite treatment.
About Ultibro Breezhaler
Ultibro Breezhaler is a once-daily double bronchodilator approved to relieve symptoms in adult patients with COPD in over 40 countries (European Union, Japan, Canada, countries within Latin America and Australia). A dual bronchodilator to be administrated once-a-day, Ultibro Breezhaler significantly improves bronchodilation when compared with other current treatments, such as SFC 50/500 mcg and open-label tiotropium (18 mcg).
The LANTERN study aimed primarily to demonstrate the efficacy of Ultibro Breezhaler 110/50 mcg compared to steroid-based treatment, the SFC 50/500 mcg, in improving lung function in stable patients with moderate-to-severe COPD, with a history of one exacerbation or none in the previous year, after 26 weeks of treatment. The Ultibro Breezhaler first objective was successfully achieved. The LANTERN study established exacerbations as a pre-specified exploratory endpoint.
COPD can become a life-threatening disease and is estimated to be the leading cause of death by 2020. It is a progressive disease, with symptoms getting worse with time, and estimated to affect 210 million people worldwide. COPD symptoms include shortness of breath, chronic cough, and lack of energy severely impacting a patient quality of life. As a result, it is a cause of absenteeism, premature retirement, and reductions in workforce participation.
Novartis is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland and maintains a focus on addressing patients and societies healthcare needs through innovative research. Its diversified portfolio includes new medicines, eye care, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines, over-the-counter and animal health products being the leading company n many of these areas.