AstraZeneca releases promising results for Smybicort in treatment of mild asthma


AstraZeneca reported that a recent study demonstrated the effectiveness of Symbicort as a potential anti-inflammatory reliever of mild asthma.

The company with administrative and logistics operations in Delaware reported the results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine and are being presented at the American Thoracic Society 2019 International Conference.

The company had earlier disclosed that promising results would be presented at the conference. Symbicort is widely advertised as a treatment for breathing disorders.

The drug recorded $2.56 billion in revenue in 2018. The company has reported pricing pressures as competition intensifies and drug pricing concerns grow.

The trial compared Symbicort Turbuhaler with two commonly used treatment regimens in mild asthma.

Alex de Giorgio-Miller, therapy area vice president, Respiratory, Global Medical Affairs, said: “There are an estimated 176 million asthma attacks globally each year and all asthma patients, regardless of their disease severity, are at risk of severe attacks. The Novel START trial demonstrates the effectiveness of Symbicort as an anti-inflammatory reliever to reduce the risk of asthma attacks in patients with mild disease, compared with the most commonly used asthma reliever. In a trial that reflects real-world practice, these data reinforce evidence from the SYGMA trials and build on the established clinical profile of Symbicort in moderate-to-severe disease.”

Novel START was conducted by the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand and was funded by a research grant from AstraZeneca and core institutional funding from the Health Research Council of New Zealand.

Symbicort Turbuhaler is approved as a maintenance and reliever therapy in many countries for moderate-to-severe asthma, and as an anti-inflammatory reliever as-needed in patients with mild asthma in Brazil and Russia.

A regulatory submission to expand the indication for Symbicort Turbuhaler as an anti-inflammatory reliever in mild asthma has been accepted in Europe. In the US, Symbicort is approved for use in a pressurized metered-dose inhaler device, but not the Turbuhaler device that was used in the study.

The 52-week trial supports the findings of a previous trial also published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Asthma is a common chronic respiratory disease, and it affects the health and day-to-day lives of as many as 339 million adults and children worldwide.

It is characterized by recurrent breathlessness and wheezing which varies over time, and which varies in severity and frequency from person to person.5

All asthma patients are at risk of severe attacks, regardless of their disease severity, adherence to treatment or level of control.

 There are an estimated 176 million asthma attacks globally per year.


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