Data from Pharmawand - Curated by Marshall Pearce - Date added 28 November 2017

Novartis announced positive results from the FLASH study examining the safety and efficacy of directly switching chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients from Seretide (salmeterol/fluticasone) 50/500 mcg to Ultibro Breezhaler(indacaterol/glycopyrronium) 110/50 mcg. The study met the primary endpoint demonstrating that switching patients to Ultibro Breezhaler resulted in significantly improved lung function (trough FEV1). The superiority of once-daily Ultibro Breezhaler over twice-daily salmeterol/fluticasone in improving lung function and reducing the rate of COPD exacerbations has been established in previous studies. The FLASH study is the first randomized controlled trial to confirm the benefits of directly switching patients from this steroid-containing therapy to the dual bronchodilator, therefore avoiding the side effects of the long-term use of inhaled corticosteroids.

Importantly, patients were switched without a wash-out period to mimic clinical practice. These results further reinforce the latest GOLD recommendations, which support the use of dual bronchodilation for the majority of symptomatic COPD patients and limit the use of steroid-containing therapies to specific patient types. Importantly, the data released also indicated that the safety and tolerability profiles of the two treatments were similar. The FLASH study results were presented at the Asian Pacific Society of Respirology (APSR) Congress in Sydney, Australia (23-26 November 2017).

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