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COPD Foundation and Wellinks Collaborate to Evaluate Integrated Virtual COPD Management Solution

January 05, 2022

Miami, Fl., Jan. 5, 2022 – The COPD Foundation, a patient advocacy and research organization, and Wellinks, a digital health care company offering the first-ever integrated, virtual chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) management solution, today announced a partnership to recruit eligible patients for a new research study through the Foundation’s COPD Patient-Powered Research Network (COPD PPRN).

Researchers plan to enroll between 100 and 150 adults with COPD for a 24-week prospective research study of the Wellinks solution. Wellinks combines virtual pulmonary rehabilitation, personalized health coaching, and monitoring through connected devices using a patient-friendly app.

The study aims to determine whether Wellinks can improve outcomes for patients with COPD by measuring the impact on health-related quality of life, health care resource utilization, and participant satisfaction. Impact will be assessed alongside additional measures such as pulmonary function and symptoms. The study is also designed to assess the engagement and utilization patterns of participants over time and in relation to adjustments in the program.

"We are passionate about ensuring that people with COPD have access to the best treatment options available," said Ruth Tal-Singer, PhD, President and Chief Scientific Officer of the COPD Foundation. "We are excited to use our COPD PPRN to recruit individuals to assess this novel COPD management program. Especially after COVID-19, the Wellinks platform could be impactful in helping patients manage their health, and we look forward to learning more through this study."

COPD is the third leading cause of death globally and one of the costliest chronic conditions in the U.S., with an estimated $49 billion spent annually.

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Statement from the COPD Foundation in Response to Philip Morris International’s Acquisition of Respiratory Health Companies

November 19, 2021

The Foundation opposes tobacco company ownership of pharmaceutical or health care companies

Miami, FL, November 19, 2021 – Philip Morris International (PMI), which markets cigarettes internationally, recently purchased several respiratory health/pharmaceutical companies, including Vectura Group PLC. Vectura manufactures inhalers widely used by patients with COPD and other chronic lung conditions.

The COPD Foundation is unwavering in its opinion that a company that profits from the sale of products that cause COPD should not benefit from the sale of products that treat COPD. It stretches the boundaries of corporate morality.

The COPD Foundation is a patient-centered organization committed to preventing COPD, bronchiectasis, and nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) lung disease and seeking cures while improving lives and advocating for all affected.

The Foundation’s Community Engagement Committee, Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee, board of directors, and the Foundation president, stand with the US COPD Coalition and other public health, medical, and patient advocacy organizations in opposition to the manufacture, advertising, and marketing of all addictive and harmful tobacco products.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco kills over 8 million people each year. It accounts for 150,000 deaths per year in the United States and over 3 million deaths globally as the third leading cause of death worldwide.

The Foundation remains committed to its position against the use and marketing of addictive and harmful tobacco and nicotine products associated with the death of millions of people worldwide. As a result, we will not take financial support from any tobacco company.

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COPD Foundation Circle of Friends Event Launches COPD Awareness Month

October 25, 2021

Experts, Patients, and Celebrities Come Together for Nov. 4 Virtual Event to “Lace-Up” for Research, Education, Advocacy, and a Cure; Donor Match Continues through December 2021

Miami, FL, October 26, 2021 – Patient advocacy and research organization, the COPD Foundation, kicks off COPD awareness month with the celebrated annual Circle of Friends event, November 4 at 5 p.m. EDT. The event will be virtual and open to the global community.

Registration for the Circle of Friends is now open and is free for all participants.

This year’s Circle of Friends theme is "Lace-Up for Lungs," a popular social advocacy campaign (#LaceUpforLungs) in which participants lace-up and champion the need for better breathing and lung health, exercise and activity, and quality of life and caring for those impacted by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchiectasis, and nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) lung disease.

"The Circle of Friends and Lace up for Lungs provide an opportunity for the global community to come together and generate awareness and opportunity for all patients with chronic lung conditions," explained Ruth Tal-Singer, PhD, President of the COPD Foundation.

"Registrants at the Circle of Friends event will hear about the Foundation’s 360-degree partnership with our global community and our commitment to preventing COPD, bronchiectasis, and NTM lung disease while we improve lives and advocate for all affected."

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Renovion and the COPD Foundation Launch COPD and Bronchiectasis Development Partnership to Address Unmet Patient Need

September 21, 2021

Chapel Hill, NC and Miami, FL - Renovion and the COPD Foundation have announced the creation of a new partnership to accelerate the development of a novel therapy for the treatment of excessive airway mucus and inflammation in individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and non-cystic fibrosis (CF) bronchiectasis. Phase 2 clinical trials are planned to begin in Q1 2022.

Renovion, a UNC Chapel Hill-supported biotechnology company, has developed ARINA-1, a novel nebulized therapy, to help patients who struggle with tenacious lung mucus and chronic inflammation that is associated with COPD, bronchiectasis, and other chronic lung diseases. In studies, ARINA-1 improves mucus transport 8x more effectively than standard of care therapies.

COPD and non-CF bronchiectasis are associated with a significant global burden. More than 320 million people have COPD, and it is the 3rd leading cause of death worldwide. Non-CF bronchiectasis is an orphan disease (under 200,000 cases in the US) with a global prevalence expected to grow by 10-20% in the next 10 years.

Together, Renovion and the COPD Foundation are leveraging the foundational research in bronchiectasis registries and COPD studies, such as those utilizing the SPIROMICS® and COPDGene® groups that demonstrate a need for therapies that target airway mucus plugging. The unique collaborative approach of the COPD Foundation’s global partnerships and COPD360Net allows for patient-centered drug development to accelerate clinical programs. The expertise of the COPD Foundation, combined with initial efficacy and safety data demonstrated by ARINA-1 in early trials, will allow the Renovion clinical program to progress with maximum efficiency.

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COPD Foundation Condemns Big Tobacco Acquisition of Pharmaceutical Company

July 29, 2021

A company that profits from the sale of tobacco products that cause COPD should not profit from the sale of products that treat COPD

Washington, D.C., July 29, 2021 – Philip Morris International, which markets cigarettes internationally, is purchasing the pharmaceutical company Vectura Group PLC, which develops and manufactures inhalers widely used by patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). The COPD Foundation condemns this acquisition. A company that profits from the sale of products that cause COPD should not benefit from the sale of products that treat COPD. It stretches the boundaries of corporate morality.

"We are concerned that this alliance may lead to unintended consequences that harm patients. Patients, Providers, Payers, and Pharmacies will likely face the ethical dilemma as to whether it is appropriate to use treatments that profit Big Tobacco," stated Dr. Byron Thomashow, COPD Foundation’s Chief Medical Officer. In addition, research with links to the tobacco industry is generally not funded by public organizations. Life-saving research may not be possible if it includes inhaled devices manufactured by Vectura.

The position of Phillip Morris that those who oppose the alliance of Big Tobacco and Pharma are promoting the continuing sale of tobacco products is preposterous. Phillip Morris can cease the distribution of tobacco products without the incentive to profit from the diseases that it causes.

"The COPD Foundation joins growing concern from the United Kingdom government and other associations/organizations including the American Lung Association and American Thoracic Society calling for the prevention of the Phillip Morris-Vectura acquisition by stockholder opposition and action of the United Kingdom government," stated Dr. Ruth Tal-Singer, President and Chief Scientific Officer of the COPD Foundation.

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Savana and The COPD Foundation Partner to Accelerate Innovative Clinical Research into COPD

July 12, 2021

New partnership set to accelerate innovative AI-powered deep Real World Evidence research into finding the missing millions with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and address unmet needs.

NY, New York, 12 July 2021. - Savana, world leader in deep Real World Evidence (deep RWE) clinical research, and US not-for-profit organization The COPD Foundation announced today that they are partnering to accelerate innovative clinical research into COPD.

The partnership will unlock the clinical data from de-identified, free text in Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to establish a predictive model to identify patients who may have COPD but have not yet been diagnosed. The research aims to find individuals with "pre-COPD" based on known risk factors, and identify commonly used medications that may be associated with improved outcomes for individuals with COPD or those at risk for developing COPD.

The US COPD challenge

Over 16 million people in the United States have COPD1, and up to 60% of COPD cases go undiagnosed.2 According to the World Health Organization, COPD is the third leading cause of death globally and a significant driver of global healthcare costs.3 COPD and symptomatic pre-COPD continue to be a leading cause of disabling symptoms and suffering.

The COPD Foundation was established to improve the lives of people with COPD, bronchiectasis, and nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) lung disease through initiatives that expand services and speed innovations which will make treatment more effective and affordable. The COPD Foundation does this through scientific research, education, advocacy and awareness with the goal of disease prevention, slowed progression, and ultimately a cure.

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COPD Foundation Journal Receives High Ranking

July 06, 2021

For Immediate Release

Washington, DC - Last week, with receipt of its first impact factor, the peer-reviewed Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases: Journal of the COPD Foundation (JCOPDF) became the highest-ranked COPD-focused journal among respiratory journals, according to Clarivate’s June 30, 2021, Journal Citation Report for 2020.

The highly anticipated 2020 impact factor is one journal quality and importance measure. The impact factor calculates how often articles published in the journal in 2018 and 2019 were cited in other published research articles in 2020.

"We are very pleased with our first impact factor," said Mark Dransfield, MD, Editor in Chief of the JCOPDF. "Our journal is only seven years old, launched in 2014 by founding Editor in Chief James D. Crapo, MD, and the COPD Foundation’s founder, the late John W. Walsh. They envisioned an open access journal that could become the publishing home for important COPD-related research. And now their vision has been validated with this impact factor which categorizes the JCOPDF as the highest-ranked COPD-focused journal."

Devoted to publishing original research, reviews, and perspectives on COPD—the fourth leading cause of death in the United States and the third leading cause of death worldwide—the JCOPDF has an editorial board of global COPD experts from 15 countries. It is published online quarterly with no barriers to access.

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COPD Foundation Welcomes Midmark as Corporate Partner

May 21, 2021

May 21, 2021, Washington, DC — The COPD Foundation is pleased to announce that Midmark, a clinical environmental design company providing medical, dental, and veterinary solutions at the point of care, has recently joined the Foundation’s 2021 Corporate Partners Program.

The COPD Foundation began the corporate partners program in 2015 to interact with external organizations that have the shared goals of undertaking impactful initiatives relating to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchiectasis and nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) lung disease.

Midmark has decades-long experience in providing spirometry/pulmonary function testing devices to both primary care physicians and specialists but also considers itself an "experience company focused on design" with the goal of reducing steps or burdens to improve the point of care experience for the patient and clinician.

"Understanding the disease, those who live with that disease, and those who care for those with the disease, is essential to understand what is needed AND what is possible to improve the experience at the point of care," explains Thomas D. Schwieterman, MD, MBA, chief medical officer and vice president of clinical affairs at Midmark. "We are designers of complete solutions and we need to fully understand all the stakeholders within COPD care to ensure each stakeholder need is addressed to provide optimal solutions."

Midmark has a broad portfolio of solution-based products which address multiple point of care needs including patient positioning, infection prevention, medical device utilization, clinical workflow, and real-time location monitoring. The company is also active in clinical research with the aim to improve processes and look for next generation techniques and technologies.

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COPD Foundation Supports Proposed Ban on Menthol Cigarettes

April 29, 2021

April 29, 2021, Washington, DC — The COPD Foundation applauds the Biden administration and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on their announcement today to begin the process of banning menthol cigarettes and cigars.

The COPD Foundation joins 80 other national organizations in the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids coalition in supporting this much-needed action to save lives, reduce youth tobacco addiction and diminish health disparities. Smoking is the leading cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) along with heart disease, lung cancer, and stroke and is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.

"This is a historic moment for all of us who work daily to improve the lives of individuals whose health has been critically impacted by the harms of smoking," said Ruth Tal-Singer, President and Chief Scientific Officer of the COPD Foundation. "Menthol is the last remaining 'flavoring' for cigarettes—banning it is a tremendous step towards decreasing the appeal of smoking. Millions of Americans would have been spared the devastating health effects of smoking if menthol cigarettes had never been allowed to exist. Sadly, we cannot rewrite history, but we can support this momentous, bold measure and ensure that more individuals are not ‘recruited’ to smoking by the deceptive, masking properties of menthol and many current smokers are incentivized to quit."

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In Gratitude to Barbara Yawn, MD, MSc Upon Her Retirement from the COPD Foundation

April 28, 2021

Miami, FL April 28, 2021. The COPD Foundation sincerely thanks Barbara Yawn, MD, MSc, for her many years of service to the Foundation, where she has made a lasting impact.

Dr. Yawn has been involved with the Foundation since its inception through her contributions to the Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee (MASAC) and has also worked directly within the Foundation on several key initiatives over the past several years.

As a primary care physician and researcher, Dr. Yawn has provided a unique and critical perspective to the Foundation’s work. During her time with the Foundation, she has championed the inclusion of people with COPD and their caregivers in all aspects of the Foundation’s work and especially in their role as active participants of clinical research teams. Dr. Yawn has grown the COPD Foundation’s Patient-Powered Research Network and served as the principal investigator on several critical studies showcasing the power of the network. In addition, she has advanced the COPD Foundation’s educational efforts including translating research results into understandable language for our patient and caregiver communities.

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Dr. MeiLan Han elected to the COPD Foundation Board of Directors

April 19, 2021

Miami, FL– April 19, 2021 The COPD Foundation, a not-for-profit organization focused on improving the lives of those affected by and stopping the progression of COPD and related lung conditions, has announced the election of Dr. MeiLan Han to its Board of Directors.

"We are delighted to welcome MeiLan to our Board," noted COPD Foundation Board Chair Dr. James D. Crapo. "MeiLan is a longtime researcher and advocate for lung health, and joins a team of supporters that includes noted practitioners who lend their expertise to our mission. We are so appreciative that she will join our team of community leaders committed to improving the lives of patients and caregivers."

MeiLan Han, MD MS, is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care at the University of Michigan. Dr. Han received her medical degree from the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Michigan. Dr. Han has also completed a Master's Degree program in Biostatistics and Clinical Study Design at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

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Pulmonary Rehabilitation - Live Better and Live Longer: a message from 19 Respiratory Organizations

April 07, 2021

Miami, FL April 7, 2021 - Over 16 million people in the United States have COPD1 and up to 60% of COPD cases go undiagnosed.2 According to the World Health Organization, COPD is the third leading cause of death globally.3 COPD continues to be a leading cause of disabling symptoms and suffering. Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is the standard of care for persons with COPD and is associated with improved physical function, symptoms, mood and quality of life. Although PR is well established as a highly effective treatment for COPD and other chronic respiratory diseases,4,5 in the United States only 3%–4% of Medicare beneficiaries with COPD receive PR.6 Similarly, low estimates exist for the rest of the world.7

A recent study by Peter Lindenauer and colleagues found that, in persons hospitalized due to acute exacerbation of COPD, PR within 3 months of discharge versus later or no PR, was associated with a highly significant lower risk of mortality at 1 year (hazard ratio, 0.63; i.e., a 37% lower risk of death over the year following discharge).8 The study utilized claims data of 197,376 Medicare beneficiaries discharged after hospitalization for COPD.8 The findings support PR as a high priority following hospitalization for COPD.

Patients suffering from COPD should know that PR not only has potential for helping them feel better and be more independent, but also live longer. We are asking for your support in communicating these important findings of improved survival after PR to providers and patients. Thank you in advance for your help and collaboration.

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