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List of new asthma medications including a long-acting bronchodilating agent + corticosteroid

Posted Jun 13 2009 12:26am
I was asked at a lecture for primary care physicians, " Are there any new asthma medications which include long-acting bronchodilating agents (LABA) in development?"

After my research files and reviewing the medical literature, I can say yes. There are at least seven medications in development:

1. ScheringPlough and Novartis: mometasone with formoterol (imagine Asmanex + Foradil)
2. ScheringPlough and Novartis: mometasone with indacterol (= QAB 149, a new 24-hour LABA)
3. Chiesi: beclomethasone with formoterol HFA ("Foster", "Inuvair") approved in Germany 2006
4. SkyePharma: fluticasone with formoterol HFA ("Flutiform")
5. Altana + Sepracor: ciclesonide with formoterol Rotacaps ("Simplyone")
6. Ranbaxy: fluticasone + formoterol dpi ("Avessa") approved in India 2006
7. GlaxoSmithKline: 685698 (fluticasone furoate (= Veramyst for allergic rhinitis)) + either 642444 or 159802 or 159787 (new LABAs)

In addition, GlaxoSmithKline is testing a combination of three drugs for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): fluticasone, salmeterol, and a new anticholinergic medication.

Why is formoterol used so often? Simple, the patent has expired. Whereas the patent for salmeterol has several more years to go before expiring. The corticosteroids are all available for the treatment of allergic rhinitis currently.

The field will become more crowded, but that's okay with me if evidence continues to show that combination corticosteroid + LABA products are beneficial, safe, and cost-effective for patients with asthma.

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