RIDGEFIELD, Conn. — Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. has released Spiriva Respimat, an asthma treatment, to U.S. pharmacies.
BI noted that Spiriva Respimat isn’t a medication for sudden asthma symptoms. The Food and Drug Administration approved a once-daily dose of Spiriva Respimat 2.5 µg (delivered in two puffs of 1.25 µg each) for the long-term maintenance treatment of asthma in people ages 12 and older, with the maximum benefits in lung function potentially taking up to four to eight weeks of dosing.
“As an industry leader in respiratory, Boehringer Ingelheim is committed to addressing unmet needs and to improving patient care for those with serious respiratory diseases, such as asthma,” stated Clare Burrows, vice president of respiratory marketing for Boehringer Ingelheim. “The approval of Spiriva Respimat marks our entrance into the asthma space and we are proud to offer a new approach for health care providers and patients to consider for the treatment of asthma.”
Unlike other asthma daily maintenance treatments, Spiriva Respimat is from a new class of medications known as long-acting muscarinic antagonists (LAMAs), the first new class of inhaled medicine approved in more than 10 years for asthma, according to BI. As a LAMA, the product is steroid-free and works differently than a long-acting beta2 agonist (LABA), the company noted.
Spiriva Respimat is approved at two doses, one for asthma and one for COPD. For asthma, it’s approved as a once-daily dose of 2.5 µg (delivered in two puffs of 1.25 µg each), and for the maintenance treatment of COPD the medications is approved as a once-daily dose of 5 µg (delivered in two puffs of 2.5 µg each).
BI cited research finding that 55% of people with asthma taking at least one treatment still experienced symptoms, which can have a negative impact on their ability to perform daily activities.
“Despite taking other daily maintenance treatments, many people with asthma continue to experience symptoms, including coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath,” commented Michael Foggs, chief of allergy and immunology for Advocate Medical Group of Advocate Health Care, Chicago. “For these patients, adding Spiriva Respimat to maintenance controller therapy may help open airways to improve breathing and reduce the likelihood of asthma flare-ups or exacerbations.”
The Respimat is BI’s inhaler platform inhaler for respiratory therapies. The company said it’s the only inhaler that actively delivers a slow-moving mist that helps patients inhale the medication.