Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals recently announced that adding its soft mist inhaler device Spiriva Respimat to deliver asthma maintenance drugs helps patients with allergic asthma better control their symptoms. The findings were presented at the 2016 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) Annual Meeting, held March 4-7 in Los Angeles, California.
Asthma is a chronic condition that affects about 22 million people in the United States. Despite the many available asthma treatments, 55 percent of patients who took part in a web survey said they are having difficulties controlling their asthma symptoms. This can be even more challenging for patients who suffer from allergic asthma, where common allergens like pollen, dust, and smoke could trigger asthma flare-ups.
To better control symptoms, patients require adequate inhalers that will ensure fast delivery of the drug throughout their lungs. Spiriva Respimat, a steroid-free inhaling device approved in patients for more than a decade, may ensure a better opening of the airways, thereby helping patients breathe easier. It is not a therapy for sudden asthma symptoms, and it requires four to eight weeks of dosing to obtain maximum efficacy.
Data presented at the AAAAI meeting examined the safety and efficacy of combining Spiriva Respimat with other maintenance asthma therapies compared to a placebo. The analyses were taken from the trials PrimoTinA-asthma and MezzoTinA-asthma, both belonging to the UniTinA-asthma large-scale clinical trial. The trials explored Spiriva Respimat as an add-on treatment in asthma patients having difficulties in controlling their asthma symptoms despite taking either inhaled corticosteroid (ICS)/LABA or moderate-dose ICS therapies.
The safety and tolerability of Spiriva Respimat in each trial and treatment group were compared with those of a placebo and were measured through an Asthma Control Questionnaire with seven questions.
Results revealed that Spiriva Respimat improves lung function, the control of asthma symptoms, and reduces the frequency of exacerbations.
“The data confirms that adding Spiriva Respimat is a well-tolerated and effective treatment option for asthma patients independent of allergic subtype,” said Mark Vandewalker, M.D., director of Clinical Research of the Ozarks in Columbia, Missouri, in a press release. “For people with allergic asthma who are still experiencing symptoms, adding Spiriva Respimat may help open airways to improve breathing.”
“Boehringer Ingelheim is committed to pursuing scientific research to help address unmet needs and improve patient care for people living with asthma,” said Danny McBryan, M.D., vice president of Clinical Development & Medical Affairs, Respiratory, at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals. “These data further demonstrate the benefits of Spiriva Respimat for the broad range of asthma patients studied who continued to experience symptoms despite taking other maintenance therapies, regardless of allergy subtype.”