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Lung disease drug trial success


A late-stage trial of a new drug to reduce breathlessness in people suffering from a life-threatening lung disease has been successful.

The trial drug Onbrez, made by Swiss drugmaker Novartis, was found to reduce breathlessness in people suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) more effectively than Pfizer’s Spiriva – which is commonly used to provide relief.

The tests also revealed that COPD patients on Novartis’s new product used less of the Onbrez medication compared with those taking Spiriva, known generically as tiotropium.

Onbrez was also as effective as Spiriva in improving lung function in people with COPD, according to Novartis.

COPD is a deteriorating respiratory disease often related to smoking or breathing in other harmful fumes and particles. The condition, which leads to the inflammation and narrowing of airways, affects 210 million people around the globe and is expected to become the third leading cause of death by 2020, Novartis said.

Copyright © Press Association 2010


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