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First new COPD inhaler in 8 years launches

Novartis has launched the Onbrez Breezhaler (indacaterol), a once-daily LABA for use in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), in the UK

The Onbrez Breezhaler (indacaterol), a new 24-hour once-a-day drug for use in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), has been launched in the UK by Novartis. The long-acting beta agonist (LABA) is the first new COPD treatment to be introduced to the UK for eight years and is the first 24-hour once-daily COPD treatment to be available.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) granted indacaterol an EU-wide licence in November 2009, based on the results of clinical trials in over 2,000 patients. These trials showed that indacaterol provided bronchodilation within five minutes and this effect lasted for 24 hours. This resulted in a clinically significant improvement in breathlessness at six months versus placebo.

Dr Steve Holmes, chair of the Primary Care Respiratory Society and a member of the British Thoracic Society Education Committee, commented: "This new treatment is great news as it offers a once daily treatment for people with COPD suffering from breathlessness. The early research shows significant improvements in patients' quality of life."

Indacaterol is a COPD maintenance therapy and is not for use either as a reliever or to treat asthma.

11th August 2010

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