Novartis says that its investigational compound, QAB149 (indacaterol), could provide a new standard for beta2-agonist therapy in patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, after Phase II trial data showed the product provides effective and well-tolerated bronchodilation for up to 24-hours.

A study in which 42 patients with intermittent or mild to moderate persistent asthma received either 50g, 100g, 200g, 400g QAB149 or placebo showed effective

24-hour bronchodilation within five minutes and a favourable safety profile with once-daily dosing, the Swiss giant said in a statement. A further trial involving 156 patients aged 13-75 showed that the product had a favorable cardiovascular safety profile.

“Tackling respiratory diseases is one of our major priorities for the future, and we have designed an ambitious development program for these and other compounds,” said Joerg Reinhardt, Novartis’ global head of development.