The new single inhaler version of AstraZeneca’s asthma, Symbicort (budesonide and formoterol), reduces the number of severe asthma attacks and improves overall asthma control, according to the results of the so-called STAY study.

The results of the trial – one of the largest asthma studies ever conducted – were published yesterday in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, and also show that the single inhaler offers superior control in the main measures of asthma management versus the traditional fixed dose Symbicort. Specifically, patients using Symbicort Single Inhaler Therapy experienced a 45% reduction in the frequency of severe exacerbations versus Symbicort fixed dose plus separate reliever inhaler. In addition, those receiving Symbicort SIT also saw an extra 14 nights of undisturbed sleep per year, as well as a reduction in the need for systemic steroids.

AstraZeneca recently withdrew the European filing for Symbicort SIT, as a result of discussions with regulators [[04/11/04c]]. However, the Anglo-Swedish firm said that it planned to resubmit the application in the second half of 2005, including additional data in a bid to further support the product.

Currently, all preventer medications are used in addition to a reliever inhaler. Symbicort SIT is a new treatment concept in asthma management in which Symbicort is used as both a preventer and reliever medication