Following the news that the Food and Drug Administration granted AstraZeneca’s Breztri approval in the US for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD);
Angad Lotay, MPharm, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:
“Despite its late market entry, GlobalData believes AstraZeneca will still catapult ahead, not only in COPD patients, but eventually those with moderate to severe asthma and will achieve blockbuster levels of sales over the next decade.
“Key opinion leaders (KOLs) interviewed by GlobalData have indicated that physicians are keen to switch patients currently receiving inhaled corticosteroids and long acting beta agonists (ICS/LABA) and long acting muscarinic antagonists (LAMA) in separate devices to ICS/LABA/LAMA to improve overall adherence. Familiarity with Symbicort’s (budesonide + formoterol fumarate) prescribing patterns will add momentum to Breztri’s market access strategy. Furthermore, although KOLs showed interest in GSK’s once daily Ellipta device, they were not particularly enthusiastic about the active ingredients (fluticasone + umeclidinium + vilanterol), and much preferred those from AstraZeneca’s Breztri Aerosphere.
“With the likes of GSK, Chiesi and Novartis all pushing for their triple inhaled therapies to take a seat in the field of asthma treatment, AstraZeneca will also look to capitalize on this with Breztri Aerosphere in the near future, especially with the change in global asthma guidelines, which now advise using ICS/LABA, such as Symbicort, as rescue therapy, in preference over Short Acting Beta Agonists (SABA).
“Reassuringly for AstraZeneca, Symbicort can be used as rescue treatment, alongside Breztri Aerosphere as maintenance therapy. The two complement each other as they share the same active ingredients, meaning there is less ambiguity when it comes to corticosteroid compatibility. Breztri’s blockbuster sales will be supported by its swift uptake in patients with moderate to severe asthma upon approval.”