GSK's dual bronchodilators Anoro launched in China Providing long-term, once-daily medication for COPD

GSK announced today its dual bronchodilators Anoro (umeclidinium/vilanterol) was officially launched in China. As one of the first dual bronchodilators in China, this once-daily medication is used for the long-term maintenance treatment in patients with the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).   


COPD is characterised by persistent symptoms and airflow obstruction, therefore bronchodilators to ease the symptoms are the cornerstone for COPD treatment1. Anoro’s two active agents act in combination on the pathway to improve airway dilation. Meanwhile, the rapid-onset and 24-hour effect of Anoro help to improve the pulmonary function for the patients and provide rapid and stable relief of their symptoms2,3.   


Professor Nanshan Zhong, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering said:  “The pulmonary function of COPD patients declines rapidly by around 50 per cent in the early stages of their disease before they come to see the doctor about their symptoms4. Therefore, it’s critical to improve their quality of life through early screening and timely diagnosis. Nearly half of the moderate to severe COPD patients at stage III to IV are still symptomatic although they were receiving LABD monotherapy5. The launch of a dual-bronchodilator provides physicians and patients with a new choice to improve the control of COPD symptoms.”


The latest research shows that there are 99.90 million patients with COPD in China6, which has become a major chronic disease on a par with hypertension and diabetes. The prevalence of COPD has been increasing significantly recently: the incidence in people aged 40 or older has almost doubled from 8.2% in 2002 to 13.7%6. COPD is frequently underdiagnosed and undertreated: less than 3% of the COPD patients are aware of its early symptoms6; most COPD patients have already lost 30%-50% of their pulmonary function upon diagnosis7. That’s why it is important to take pulmonary function testing to receive diagnosis and treatment in time.


Professor Jinping Zheng, Leading Principal Investigator for China Anoro Phase III study, Deputy Director of the Guanzhou Institute of Respiratory Healthy and Deputy Director of National Center for Clinical Research of Respiratory Diseases said: “The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) points out that pulmonary function testing is the gold standard for COPD diagnosis1 in assessing its severity and progression and evaluating the response to treatment. Improving pulmonary function is a key goal of COPD treatment. China Anoro Phase III study showed that dual bronchodilators have a significant advantage over placebos or LABD monotherapy in improving pulmonary function, especially in terms of FEV1--they can effectively alleviate symptoms and reduce acute attacks, so as to enhance patients’ quality of life.”


Professor Paul Jones from Respiratory Medicine at St George’s, University of London, a former long-standing member of the GOLD Scientific Committee and Council, developed the St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), the COPD Assessment Test (CAT), and the EXAcerbation of Chronic Pulmonary Disease Tool (EXACT). He remarked: "Anoro has an extensive track record of clinical application around the world. It provides symptomatic COPD patients with optimised bronchodilation for better lung function improvement leading to improved symptoms that enables the patients  with a better quality of life for as long as possible. "


Mr. Thomas Willemsen, General Manager, GSK China Pharmaceuticals and Vaccines, said: “We’re glad to introduce Anoro to COPD patients in China as one of the first dual bronchodilators to better control their symptoms. GSK has extensive experience in the respiratory area and are committed to introducing innovative medicines and individualised medical treatments to physicians and patients with chronic airway diseases through a patient-centric approach. We also strive to improve public healthcare capabilities in respiratory area in China and contribute to the ‘Healthy China’ initiative. For instance,

in 2017, GSK supported Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Health to establish a health big-data system and upgrade the management of respiratory diseases.”  


Since 2015, as part of “China’s Plan for the Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Diseases (2012-2015)”, GSK has collaborated with National Health and Family Planning Commission to conduct a COPD training program for around 4,000 primary physicians so far. In 2017, GSK supported "Happy Breath" to better promote and implement COPD tiered diagnosis and treatment, and improve grassroots health capabilities. The program is expected to benefit about 50 million Chinese citizens.




GSK in China with China for China

GSK is committed to supporting the healthcare reform of the Chinese government and to ensuring that Chinese patients can access our innovative treatments targeting their specific needs. As part of our strategy to be "in China, with China, for China", we have achieved the following milestones in recent years:


  • Announced to aid China government’s hepatitis prevention and treatment programme in Aug 2018.
  • Cervarix is approved for cervical cancer prevention in female population aged 9-45 years in May 2018.
  • Announced Flixotide Nebules launched in mainland China for acute exacerbations of childhood asthma in May 2018.
  • The Chinese Association of STD and AIDS Prevention and Control and GSK China sign MOU for AIDS prevention and control through online physician education in May 2018.
  • GSK China partners with JD to drive “Internet + Healthcare” to improve patient experience and access to healthcare in May 2018.
  • Anoro Ellipta, a new once-daily dual bronchodilators treatment for COPD, was approved in March 2018.
  • Announced innovative antiretroviral Single Tablet Regimen Triumeq was officially launched in January 2018.




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GSK enquiries:

Chloe Yao        (China)

Susan Song      (China)





  1. Global initiative for chronic obstructive lung disease, Global strategy for the diagnosis, management, and prevention of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 2018 report (2017)
  2. Tal-Singer R, Cahn A, Mehta R, et al. Initial assessment of single and repeat doses of inhaled umeclidinium in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: two randomised studies. Eur J Pharmacol, 2013, 701(1-3): 40-48.
  3. Kempsford R, Norris V, Siederer S. Vilanterol trifenatate, a novel inhaled long-acting beta 2 adrenoceptor agonist, is well tolerated in healthy subjects and demonstrates prolonged bronchodilation in subjects with asthma and COPD. Pulm Pharmacol Ther, 2013, 26(2): 256-264.
  4. Zhou Y, Zhong NS, et al. Tiotropium in Early-Stage Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. New England Journal of Medicine 2017 (9): 377: 923-935
  5. Müllerová H et al. PLoS One. 2014;9:e85540
  6. Wang C. et al. Prevalence and risk factors of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in China (the China Pulmonary Health [CPH] study): a national cross-sectional study (2018) The Lancet 2018: 391(10131)
  7. Yi F., YI S. Epidemiological Investigation and Prevention Measures of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. J Prev Med Chin PLA 2018 (2): Vol.36 No.2