A lot of buzz is being generated lately by pharmaceutical companies announcing positive results from several new, COPD medications, each of which are in the process of being tested in clinical trials, or have already completed the final phases of study. In fact, in the past week alone, three investigational drugs have been mentioned in the news, each of which show promise in helping people with COPD feel better and live a higher quality of life:
- MediciNova's MN-221 -- MN-221 is an intravenous, ▀2-adrenergic receptor agonist that is meant to be administered in the emergency room to help reduce admissions to the hospital due to COPD. In Phase II clinical studies, patients in the MN-221 treatment group showed an overall, better improvement of FEV1 than those in the placebo group and those who received only standard, COPD treatment (SOC) alone. Moreover, MN-221 improved respiratory symptoms and improved dyspnea scores by 34% more than SOC alone. Fewer patients were hospitalized in the MN-221 treatment group than in the SOC alone group and when MN-221 was added to standard COPD treatment, there were no significantá safety concerns.
- GlaskoSmithKline's (GSK) LAMA/LABA combo -- In a recent press release, GSKá and Theravance, Inc. announced completion of Phase III clinical trails involving the investigational combo drug UMEC/VI, containing umeclidinium bromide, a long-acting muscarinic (LAMA) and vilanterol, a long-acting beta agonist (LABA). The once-daily COPD maintenance drug will be delivered using ELLIPTA, a new dry powder inhaler. Results of placebo controlled efficacy studies and active comparator efficacy studies showed that when combined, the two drugs together produced statistically significant improvements in FEV1 compared to each drug individually, a placebo or to tiotropium (Spiriva).
- Boehringer Ingelheim's olodaterol/tiotropium combo -- In May, 2012, Boehringer Inhelheim announced that clinical studies involving olodaterol, a long-acting ▀2-agonist (LABA) meant to partner with the anticholinergic drug, tiotropium,ásignificantly improved lung function as measured by FEV 1, for at least 24 hours compared to placebo. Phase II studies focused on the impact of different drug-dose combinations in COPD patients while Phase III clinical trials have been completed and the results are being evaluated for presentation at upcoming medical meetings.
How long will it take these drugs to get FDA approval and be available for use in COPD treatment? Read more about the FDA approval process: