Respiratory News

The FDA has accepted a supplemen- tal New Drug Application for Xofluza (baloxavir marboxil) as a single-dose, oral treatment for people at high risk of complications from the flu, according to Genentech. A decision on approval of the new medication should come by November of this year. Studies found that Xofluza sig- nificantly reduced the time to improvement of influenza symptoms by a full day.

The results of a study in the Journal of Pain Management showed evidence that a single session of 20-minute mindful breathing is effective in reducing difficult breathing in those with lung cancer, COPD and asthma. Mindful breathing, a common component of many forms of meditation that brings attention to the physical sensa- tions of the breath as you breathe in and out much like pursed-lip breathing.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins Univer- sity found people with COPD who took a daily aspirin were linked to fewer moderate exacerbations, but not severe bouts, of the lung disease. It also reduced moderate and severe episodes of labored breathing. The article which appeared in the medical journal hestC noted 45 percent of participants reported regularly taking low-dose aspirin at the start of the study. (Low-dose aspirin is generally 81 milligrams.)

Nicotine and Tobacco Research reports no evidence exists that using electronic cig- arettes leads people to quit using traditional tobacco in the long term.

Identifying small airway disease in its earliest stages, when it is most treatable, could potentially lead to new drug therapies for those with COPD. In the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, researchers report on the abil- ity of a relatively new technique, called Parametric Response Mapping (PRM), to identify small airway loss, narrowing and obstruction.

Tokyo researchers have shown immune cells in mice called basophils trigger responses that lead to the airway degen- eration resembling that in human chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – COPD. The team hopes that their discovery  will lead to therapies targeting basophils to slow down the progression of emphy- sema.


The FDA has approved the first gener- ic of Advair Diskus (fluticasone propio- nate and salmeterol inhalation powder) for the twice-daily treatment of asthma in people aged four years and older and main- tenance treatment of airflow obstruction and reducing exacerbations in people with COPD.

A pharmaceutical company, Mylan, obtained approval to market its generic inhaler in three strengths: fluticasone propio- nate 100 mcg/salmeterol 50 mcg, fluticasone propionate 250 mcg/salmeterol 50 mcg and fluticasone propionate 500 mcg/salmeterol 50 mcg.