AstraZeneca Rolls Out AIRSUPRA, a Novel Combination Therapy for Asthma


WILMINGTON, DE — Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has announced the commercial availability of AIRSUPRA® (albuterol/budesonide) in the United States, marking a significant step forward in asthma treatment. The FDA approved AIRSUPRA in January 2023 for as-needed treatment or prevention of asthma symptoms, and to assist in preventing sudden severe breathing problems, or asthma attacks, in individuals aged 18 years and older.

AIRSUPRA combines a short-acting beta2-agonist (SABA), which relaxes the smooth muscles of the airways, with an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS), which reduces inflammation in the lungs. The FDA approval was based on the results from two Phase III trials, MANDALA and DENALI. In MANDALA, AIRSUPRA proved superior to albuterol in reducing the risk of severe asthma exacerbations in patients with moderate to severe asthma. In DENALI, AIRSUPRA demonstrated a similar onset of bronchodilation compared to albuterol in patients with mild to moderate asthma.

The launch of AIRSUPRA aligns with the changing approach to treating asthma symptoms. The 2023 Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) report advocates for a rescue approach that addresses both symptoms and inflammation concurrently. Combination SABA/ICS is now recommended as a rescue option for adults with asthma, regardless of their ICS maintenance medication. According to GINA, recommendations for a change in rescue approach were largely based on the risk associated with SABA-only treatment of asthma. AIRSUPRA stands out as the only FDA-approved, as-needed SABA/ICS asthma rescue now available in the US, designed to treat both symptoms and inflammation.

Priya Bansal MD, Physician and CEO of the Asthma and Allergy Wellness Center, spoke to the importance of this development, stating: “For over five decades, the medical community has used SABA-only rescue which does not address the inflammatory component of asthma. Now, with AIRSUPRA available we can provide patients, especially those on maintenance therapy, another rescue option for managing their breakthrough symptoms.”

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Liz Bodin, Vice President, US Respiratory & Immunology at AstraZeneca, echoed these sentiments, saying, “With AIRSUPRA now available in the US, we are taking an important step in our mission to revolutionize asthma for millions of people living with the disease.”

The introduction of AIRSUPRA signifies a promising advancement in asthma treatment, potentially offering patients a more comprehensive approach to managing their condition. Its ability to treat both symptoms and inflammation simultaneously could lead to improved patient outcomes and reduced risk of severe asthma attacks. As such, AIRSUPRA could set a new standard in asthma care, aligning with current global recommendations for a more holistic approach to asthma management.

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