New data on Boehringer Ingelheim’s combination lung therapy Spiolto Respimat show “consistent, clinically meaningful improvements” in quality of life for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder.

According to results from the Phase IIIb OTEMTO 1&2 trials, published in the journal Respiratory Medicine, the treatment significantly reduced the SGRQ score - a standard used to measure quality of life in COPD patients - by 4.67 compared to a placebo.

This improvement “could make a noticeable difference to the daily activity of COPD patients and enable them to maintain a more independent life,” explained Dave Singh, Professor of clinical pharmacology and respiratory medicine, University of Manchester and lead investigator of the trials. 

“For example, this could mean that patients are able to walk up stairs without stopping, go out to socialise with friends or find it easier to wash and dress. Essentially, the data show that patients feel much better.”

The trials also show that Spiolto Respimat provides clinically meaningful improvements in breathlessness compared to placebo, consistent improvements in lung function, breathlessness and quality of life compared to the firm’s Spiriva, as well as a similar safety profile to the ageing blockbuster, the firm noted.

Spiolto Respimat combines Spiriva, a long acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA), with long-acting _2-adrenergic agonist (LABA) olodaterol - sold as a monotherapy under the brand name Striverdi. It is delivered through the Respimat mist inhaler, which is designed to allow for more natural inhalation than standard devices.

The drug was approved in Europe last month hot on the heels of a US approval in May.

COPD currently affects 210 million people worldwide and is forecast by the World Health Organisation to become the third leading cause of death by 2030.