GSK launches the new once-daily Relvar Ellipta® in China for the treatment of asthma and COPD

GSK China announced today that the new Relvar Ellipta® (fluticasone furoate/vilanterol, FF/VI) was officially launched in the Chinese market. As the only once-daily ICS/LABA combination available in the market, Relvar Ellipta® can help improve the management of chronic respiratory diseases, including asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Relvar Ellipta® contains two active agents: fluticasone furoate has a stronger anti-inflammatory effect[1], while vilanterol delivers 24 hours of long-acting bronchodilator efficacy. The two agents act in combination on the pathway to help patients achieve better asthma control and alleviate the acute exacerbation of moderate to severe COPD.

Professor Xin Zhou from Respiration Department, the First People's Hospital affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University, said: "China has a large number of patients with asthma, and the prevalence is increasing each year. However, the disease is not well-controlled. How to further control asthma and improve the quality of life for patients is a pressing issue in China when it comes to the diagnosis and treatment of asthma. The launch of Relvar Ellipta® will provide a new solution for physicians in clinical practice and further improve asthma control among patients."

The latest epidemiological survey indicates that China currently has over 30 million asthma patients[2]. According to the level of asthma control defined by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), the overall control rate of asthma is 28.5%[3] in China's urban areas and is expected to be lower in remote areas. The treatment cost of asthma is steadily increasing, causing a great economic burden to patients and many indirect losses such as sick leave from work and school, psychological barriers and deterioration in the quality of life.

Professor Jiangtao Lin from Respiration Department of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, Director of the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) and team leader of the national epidemiological survey on the Prevalence of Bronchial Asthma and the Risk Factors in China, said, "Asthma is a chronic airway inflammatory disease with a long course and recurrent attacks, severely affecting the quality of life for patients. Clinical practice has proved that inhaled corticosteroid (ICS)/long-acting ß2–agonist (LABA) can effectively relieve the symptoms of patients with moderate or severe asthma. Relvar Ellipta® has a stronger anti-inflammatory effect. Moreover, taken only once a day, it can improve pulmonary function for 24 hours, which significantly simplifies the treatment regimen for patients while improving asthma control. Clinical studies suggest that Relvar Ellipta® helps 25% more patients improve asthma control vs other ICS/LABA."

Professor Ronald Dahl, Vice Chairman of the Global Alliance against Chronic Respiratory Diseases (GARD), further explained, "Compared to other ICSs, fluticasone furoate carries a different furoate radical at 17α, which bonds better with glucocorticoid receptors, to increase its lipophilicity and affinity to glucocorticoid receptors, and achieve a stronger anti-inflammatory effect. Compared to other LABAs, vilanterol can bond with β2 receptors at multiple active points, to have a longer bronchodilation effect. The combination of these two can effectively improve asthma control."

As a global healthcare company that has been introducing innovative respiratory solutions to China in recent two years, GSK sets great expectation on Relvar Ellipta®. Dr. James He, GSK China Vice President and Head of R&D and Medical, said, "GSK has 50 years of experience in treating chronic respiratory diseases globally. Since the introduction of the world’s first selective short-acting beta agonist to the China market in 1988, GSK has been in chronic respiratory diseases in China for more than 30 years. From the first inhaled steroid for asthma, to the first ICS/LABA combination, and to the once-daily ICS/LABA Relvar Ellipta®, GSK has successfully brought innovative respiratory solutions to China over the past three decades for the benefit of Chinese patients. China has 140 million patients with chronic respiratory diseases. We are excited that Relvar Ellipta® could be launched in China, to help Chinese patients better control their disease and further improve their quality of life."

Relvar is a combination of the inhaled corticosteroid (ICS), fluticasone furoate “FF”, and the long-acting beta2-agonist (LABA), vilanterol “VI” (FF/VI). Two strengths of FF/VI can be used for the treatment of asthma (100/25 mcg and 200/25 mcg) and one strength can be used for COPD (100/25 mcg). All strengths will be administered once-daily using the Ellipta device, a dry powder inhaler (DPI).




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[1] Salter M et al. Pharmacological properties of the enhanced-affinity glucocorticoid fluticasone furoate in vitro and in an in vivo model of respiratory inflammatory disease. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2007;293:L660–7

[2] Jiangtao Lin, Wenya Wang, Ping Chen, et al. Prevalence and risk factors of asthma in mainland China: The CARE study. Respiratory Medicine. 2018;137:48-54.

[3] 王文巧, 林江涛, 周新, 等. 2015—2016年我国中心城市30家医院支气管哮喘管理水平调查. 中华内科杂志. 2018;57(1):15-20.