- AstraZeneca is counting on its new co-suspension delivery technology to differentiate its new inhaler, Bevespi Aerosphere, from a crowded market for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) treatments.
- Bevespi Aerosphere, a dual bronchodilator, will compete with GlaxoSmithKline's Anoro Ellipta and Boehringer Ingelheim's Stiolto Respimat. Bevespi will combine a long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) and a long-acting beta-2 agonist (LABA) in a single inhaler.
- The FDA approved Bevaspi based on the strength of data from a 3,700-person study, which showed a statistically significant improvement after 24 weeks, compared with its individual components or placebo.
The introduction of Bevespi comes at a time when payers appear less receptive to me-too drugs which are difficult to differentiate based on a specific advantage. AstraZeneca is hoping its new delivery technology could be a major differentiator.
"With the approval of Bevespi Aerosphere, we are pleased to provide patients with the first LAMA/LABA in a pressurized metered-dose inhaler, delivered using our unique formulation technology. LAMA/LABAs are emerging as a preferred treatment option for many COPD patients," said Sean Bohen, chief medical officer at AstraZeneca.
So what makes it so special? The new technology facilitates consistent delivery of one or more different medications from a single pressurized metered-dose inhaler. The goal is a stable, consistent suspension designed to prevent sedimentation of drug crystals over time, thereby preventing unintentional interaction.
Now AZ has to deal with payers, but the company seems confident the trial data will be strong enough for Bevespi to gain top-tier formulary status.