Novartis announced that the EC has approved Enerzair Breezhaler as a maintenance treatment of asthma in adult patients not adequately controlled with a maintenance combination of a long acting beta2 agonist (LABA) and a high-dose of an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) who experienced one or more asthma exacerbations in the previous year. Once-daily Enerzair Breezhaler is the first LABA/long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA)/ICS fixed-dose combination available in the EU for these patients. The approval also includes an optional digital companion with sensor and app that provides inhalation confirmation, medication reminders and access to objective data to better support therapeutic decisions. The EC decision is applicable to all 27 European Union member states as well as the UK, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.
“Novartis is working to reimagine medicine for people with uncontrolled asthma, who find it a challenge to achieve effective symptom and exacerbation control,” said Rod Wooten, Head of Global Marketing, Novartis Pharmaceuticals. “The approval of Enerzair Breezhaler with sensor and app in the EU is an example of our commitment to utilize data and digital offerings to make asthma control an achievable goal for patients and physicians.”
Enerzair Breezhaler is provided in a transparent capsule that allows patients to see that they have taken their medication and will be administered via the dose-confirming Breezhaler® device, which enables once-daily inhalation using a single inhaler. The digital companion includes a sensor that attaches to the Breezhaler device and can be linked to the Propeller Health smartphone app, providing patients with inhalation confirmation, medication reminders and access to objective data that can be shared with their physician in order to help them make better therapeutic decisions.
“Today, over 45% of asthma patients at GINA Steps 4 and 5 remain uncontrolled, demonstrating the need for new treatments, delivery approaches and patient support to ensure that medication is taken correctly and treatment goals are reached,” said Professor David Price, Chair of Primary Care Respiratory Medicine, University of Aberdeen. “Once-daily Enerzair Breezhaler plus a digital companion could help to facilitate greater collaborative disease management between physicians and patients in the EU whose asthma remains uncontrolled, despite LABA/ICS treatment.”
The EC approval is based on robust efficacy and safety data from over 3,000 asthma patients in the Phase III IRIDIUM study, in which once-daily Enerzair Breezhaler was superior to once-daily Atectura® Breezhaler® (QMF149; IND/MF) in improving the lung function of patients whose asthma is uncontrolled with LABA/ICS standard-of-care treatment2. In the IRIDIUM study, the key secondary endpoint was improvement in the Asthma Control Questionnaire score (ACQ-7) for Enerzair Breezhaler versus Atectura Breezhaler.
Both treatments delivered clinically meaningful improvements in this measure of symptoms from baseline at Week 26, but the key secondary endpoint was not met2. Among other secondary analyses, IRIDIUM explored asthma exacerbation rates, where statistically significant reductions were observed in moderate-to-severe and severe asthma exacerbation rates with Enerzair Breezhaler compared with an established LABA/ICS standard-of-care (twice-daily salmeterol xinafoate/fluticasone propionate [Sal/Flu])2. Safety findings were consistent with the known safety profiles of the monocomponents2.
Once-daily Enerzair Breezhaler has been approved in Japan and Canada. Once-daily Atectura Breezhaler has been approved in the EU as a maintenance treatment of asthma for adults and adolescents 12 years of age and older not adequately controlled with ICS and inhaled short-acting beta2-agonists (SABA)5, and in Canada and Japan. Further regulatory reviews for Enerzair Breezhaler and Atectura Breezhaler are currently underway in multiple countries including Switzerland.
In keeping with the Novartis commitment to reduce the environmental impact of our asthma combinations, Enerzair Breezhaler and Atectura Breezhaler will both be available in the hydrofluoroalkane/chlorofluorocarbon (HFA/CFC)-free Breezhaler device. Novartis aims to drive sustainability and has set ambitious targets to minimize its impact on climate, waste and water, including targets to become carbon neutral in company operations by 2025.
About Uncontrolled Asthma
Asthma affects an estimated 358 million people worldwide and can cause a significant personal, health and financial burden when not adequately controlled3,4. Despite current therapy, over 40% of patients with asthma at Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) Step 3, and over 45% at GINA Steps 4 and 5 remain uncontrolled6,7. Patients with uncontrolled asthma may downplay or underestimate the severity of their disease and are at a higher risk of exacerbation, hospitalization or death8-10. Barriers, such as less than optimal adherence, incorrect inhaler technique, treatment mismatch, safety issues with oral corticosteroids and ineligibility for biologics, have created an unmet medical need in asthma11-14.
About Enerzair Breezhaler (IND/GLY/MF) in the EU
The EC approved high-dose Enerzair Breezhaler (IND/GLY/MF) 150/50/160 μg once-daily as a maintenance treatment of asthma in adult patients not adequately controlled with a maintenance combination of a long?acting beta2?agonist (LABA) and a high-dose of an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) who experienced one or more asthma exacerbations in the previous year1. This formulation combines the bronchodilation of indacaterol acetate (a LABA) and glycopyrronium bromide (a LAMA) with mometasone furoate (ICS) in a precise once-daily formulation, delivered via the dose-confirming Breezhaler device. Glycopyrronium bromide certain use and formulation intellectual property were exclusively licensed to Novartis in April 2005 by Sosei Heptares and Vectura. Mometasone furoate is exclusively licensed to Novartis from a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc, Kenilworth, NJ, USA, for use in IND/GLY/MF (worldwide excluding the US).
Novartis developed the optional digital companion in collaboration with Propeller Health, which includes the Propeller Health app and sensor custom-built for the Breezhaler device. The sensor is a CE marked Medical Device, designed and licensed to Novartis for use with the Breezhaler inhaler worldwide. The sensor includes a microchip, a microphone, Bluetooth capabilities, an antenna and a battery. The sensor does not alter the drug delivery characteristics of the Breezhaler inhaler itself but produces a recording of each administered dose. Based on the patient’s recorded medication usage, personalized content is presented within the app to help the patient better self-manage their asthma.
Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach nearly 800 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 109,000 people of more than 145 nationalities work at Novartis around the world.