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COPD Foundation Founder John W. Walsh Retires

February 15, 2017   |   
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The COPD Foundation’s Board of Directors announced today that John W. Walsh, founder of the COPD Foundation, has retired from the COPD Foundation so that he may focus on his recovery from an injury that he incurred last year.

The Foundation’s Board elected John as its first Director Emeritus in recognition of his extraordinary service to the Foundation, and his profound commitment to improving the lives of those affected by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

“I am honored to have worked closely with John over the past two decades to advocate for the 30 million Americans with COPD. John’s tireless commitment to the COPD community and his unabashed enthusiasm for being ‘an impatient patient’ continues to inspire me and the work we do at the Foundation” said Byron Thomashow, MD, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the COPD Foundation.

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COPD Biomarker Qualification Consortium Partners with Bio-Techne to Identify COPD Indicator

January 10, 2017   |   
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WASHINGTON, D.C./MINNEAPOLIS, MN - January 11, 2017 -The COPD Foundation-sponsored COPD Biomarker Qualification Consortium (CBQC) today announced that it has partnered with the Bio-Techne Corporation, a manufacturer of biotechnology products for life science research and diagnostics. The partnership was established to evaluate the suitability of a soluble form of receptor for advanced glycation end products (sRAGE) as a predictive biomarker to support subject selection for clinical trials in emphysema. Increasing evidence suggests that serum sRAGE could serve as an indicator of the presence and/or progression of emphysema, a form of chronic obstructive disease (COPD). A validated commercial assay or test for sRAGE does not currently exist. The COPD Foundation, along with its partners in the CBQC and Bio-Techne, will be collaborating with a working group of industry and academic affiliates on the initiative.

“We are honored that the CBQC has chosen Bio-Techne as their development partner for this important test,” said Charles R. Kummeth, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bio-Techne. “We have a long history of innovation with different immunoassay technologies and biomarkers that can be applied here to ultimately help improve outcomes for emphysema patients.”

Since its inception in 2010, the CBQC has selected several important measures to be considered for qualification by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as tools for drug development. The initial measures/biomarkers selected were plasma fibrinogen (a blood biomarker), the St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire, and the 6-minute walk test (an exercise test). Since serum and plasma sRAGE levels can prospectively identify the subset of patients with COPD at greatest risk for emphysema progression, targeted drug/biologic development and treatments could be optimized by using sRAGE measurements. Several large cohort studies have reported sRAGE to be a strong marker of emphysema, even more so than airflow obstruction.

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COPD Foundation Recognizes 2016 Honorees at Annual Air Affair Event in New York City

December 09, 2016   |   
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WASHINGTON, D.C. - December 9, 2016 - The COPD Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to curing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), hosted its 2016 annual Air Affair Benefit, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Dr. Byron Thomashow chaired the event as the Foundation paid tribute to a special group of individuals and organizations who were recognized for their contributions to the COPD community over the past year.

The gala evening featured country music artist Billy Dawson, famous for his songs Lance Corporal Austin and Whatever Happens. There was a special performance from Emmy Rose Russel the granddaughter of country icon Loretta Lynn. Emmy represented the Lynn family in memory of her aunt and Loretta’s daughter Betty Sue Lynn who passed away from COPD.

The COPD Foundation was pleased to announce the 2016 Air Affair Benefit awardees for their commitment to COPD awareness and the advancement of a COPD cure. Their advocacy, research, outreach, and care-delivery efforts have helped to build a broad understanding of the disease and support the Foundation improving lives for individuals with the disease. John W. Walsh, co-founder of the COPD Foundation, received the highest honor for his achievements in the COPD space.

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COPD Foundation Now Accepting Donations Using Apple Pay

November 14, 2016   |   
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WASHINGTON, D.C. - November 14, 2016 - The COPD Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), today brings supporters the ability to donate with Apple Pay. COPD is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. and affects 30 million Americans. The progressive lung disease is characterized by increased breathlessness, coughing, and wheezing.

The COPD Foundation relies on the support of its membership to implement its research, education, and advocacy initiatives. Apple Pay will allow COPD Foundation supporters with the option of a more efficient and secure online financial transaction, making it easier for members to help the organization’s mission to help those affected by COPD.

Security and privacy is at the core of Apple Pay. When you use a credit or debit card with Apple Pay, the actual card numbers are not stored on the device, nor on Apple servers. Instead, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored in the Secure Element on your device. Each transaction is authorized with a one-time unique dynamic security code. Donating in apps and on websites accepting Apple Pay is as simple as the touch of a finger with Touch ID, so there’s no need to manually fill out lengthy account forms or repeatedly type in shipping and billing information.

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Propeller Health Receives FDA Clearance for the Propeller Platform in Association with Ellipta Inhaler

November 08, 2016   |   
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MADISON, WI - Nov. 8, 2016 - Propeller Health, the leading digital solution for respiratory medicine, today announced U.S. Food and Drug Administration 510(k) clearance to market its Propeller platform for use with GSK's Ellipta® inhaler, the pharmaceutical company's innovative, patented, dry powder inhaler (DPI). The sensor for the Ellipta inhaler was built and cleared as part of a development agreement and R&D collaboration between Propeller and GSK that was announced on December 1, 2015.

"Today, we are pleased to announce the FDA clearance of the Propeller platform for use with GSK's Ellipta inhaler," said David Van Sickle, CEO and co-founder of Propeller. "Inclusion of GSK's Ellipta inhaler in Propeller's digitally-guided therapy platform is an important step in our goal of modernizing the management of respiratory disease. We look forward to working closely with GSK to deploy sensors for the Ellipta inhaler in the U.S. and abroad, in the near term."

Read the full press release here.

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COPD Foundation "Goes Orange" for National COPD Awareness Month in November

November 01, 2016   |   
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WASHINGTON, D.C. - November 1, 2016 - The COPD Foundation is pleased to celebrate COPD Awareness Month, an internationally recognized event held annually in November to enhance awareness of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Throughout the month, the COPD Foundation will partner with respiratory health organizations to host various online and in-person activities that will allow COPD community members to rally, inform, and support one another. COPD is a progressive lung disease with symptoms that include shortness of breath, wheezing, and cough. It is affects 300 million individuals worldwide and 30 million in the United States.

Key statistics about COPD include:

  • Every four minutes, someone in the U.S. dies of COPD
  • COPD causes 285,000 emergency hospitalizations annually in the U.S.
  • Approximately one in five Americans over the age of 45 lives with COPD

The Foundation’s awareness theme for the month is “Go Orange,” which highlights the organization’s efforts to promote unity among the COPD community and raise public awareness about the disease. In 2011, the U.S. COPD Coalition named orange the official color of COPD in the “Go Orange Resolution.” In honor of the fifth anniversary of the resolution, the COPD Foundation has launched the “Go Orange” campaign. From now until November 30, 2016, a photograph of anyone wearing orange can be posted using the hashtag #GoOrange to the COPD360social community at copdf.co/Go-Orange. For more information about the campaign or to download the free digital toolkit, please visit: copdf.co/Go-Orange.

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Dorney-Koppel Foundation Helps Create New Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation Center at Tulane Medical Center

September 07, 2016   |   
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NEW ORLEANS - September 7, 2016 - New Orleans-area residents who suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) will soon breathe easier thanks to a partnership with the Tulane University School of Medicine and the Dorney-Koppel Foundation.

The Grace Anne Dorney Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation Center at Tulane Medical Center’s downtown campus is named after the wife of senior CBS Sunday Morning contributor and former Nightline anchor Ted Koppel. More importantly, though, Dorney-Koppel is president of the COPD Foundation and a longtime advocate for sufferers of chronic breathing conditions.

“Not being able to catch your breath – and the fear that your next breath might not be coming – is like drowning. Nothing is more frightening,” said Dorney-Koppel, who became a national spokesperson for COPD patients after being diagnosed with the disease herself more than 15 years ago. “Pulmonary rehabilitation is a breathing program based on the highest level of scientific evidence, and it can improve patient’s lives.

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COPD PPRN to Participate in $4 Million Research Study Comparing Stress Management Approaches

July 26, 2016   |   
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WASHINGTON, D.C. - July 26, 2017 - A team of patient and stakeholder partners and investigators from 20 Patient-Powered Research Networks (PPRNs) that comprise PCORnet will take part in a $4 million research project, Healthy Mind Healthy You, to determine the optimal type and frequency of mindfulness-based treatment for managing stress. This project will be under the leadership of MoodNetwork, an online network for patients with bipolar disorder and depression. MoodNetwork, based at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), is one of 20 PCORI-funded Patient-Powered Research Networks (PPRNs) participating in this study, which will also demonstrate the capabilities of PCORnet, the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network.

An ambitious initiative funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), PCORnet is accelerating the nation’s ability to conduct patient-centered clinical research more efficiently by using health information shared by patients and other clinical data. PPRNs, which are collaborations among patients, other stakeholders, and research partners who share an interest in advancing patient-centered research, comprise 20 of the 33 networks that together make up PCORnet.

Healthy Mind Healthy You will randomly assign participants across more than 100 conditions to a “light” (3-session) or “standard” (8-session) online mindfulness-based intervention to determine which treatment is most helpful for improving well-being. This topic has been recognized as a top priority area for comparative effectiveness research by the Institute of Medicine and has the potential to inform patients, caregivers, and clinicians as to the most effective dose of mindfulness for stress and wellness management. This study will be led by a team of active stakeholder and patient partners across the 20 patient powered research networks.

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COPD Foundation Releases “A Child’s Eye” Animated Short

June 15, 2016   |   
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 15, 2016 – The COPD Foundation today released a video animation, “A Child’s Eye,” to promote awareness and education about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a spectrum of inflammatory lung diseases that include chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Patients with COPD experience chronic respiratory symptoms such as difficulty breathing, wheezing, and coughing. Approximately 300 million people worldwide are affected by COPD. The video animation was developed by Make Believe Studios, an in-house creative studio that specializes in bringing stories to life through film, animation and digital output.

“A Child's Eye” is a short animated film commissioned by Novartis in collaboration with the COPD Foundation. It is inspired by real life stories from patients around the world and demonstrates the effects of the disease on patients’ loved ones, including caregivers, friends, and family. “A Child’s Eye” depicts the daily struggles of life with COPD from the perspective of a child whose beloved grandparent lives with the disease. Upon being introduced to COPD360social.org, a unique social networking website for individuals whose lives are affected by COPD, the child’s family is provided with educational resources and access to a worldwide community. By showing the meaningful impact lifestyle changes and treatment can have through the perspective of ‘Jonny’ (a patient’s grandchild), the video touches upon a central insight for people who live with COPD.

“The COPD Foundation would like to thank Novartis for the creation and adaptation of this video,” said Craig Kephart, COPD Foundation’s chief executive officer. “We hope the piece will encourage individuals who have difficulty breathing to seek diagnosis and visit COPD360social.org for support and education. Early detection is crucial to successful treatment of COPD.”

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FDA includes St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) in “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Developing Drugs for Treatment” Draft Guidance

May 25, 2016   |   
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WASHINGTON, D.C. - May 25, 2016 - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an updated draft guidance for industry to assist in the design of a clinical development programs for new COPD drug and biological products. The draft guidance, “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Developing Drugs for Treatment,” revises the 2007 version by adding information specific to the use of the St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) as a potential co-primary endpoint in clinical trials of COPD products. The SGRQ is a patient-reported health status questionnaire that has been used extensively since it was first published over 20 years ago. The COPD Foundation, along with its partners in the COPD Biomarker Qualification Consortium (CBQC) - AstraZeneca, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Chiesi, GSK, Novartis, Pfizer, and many academic members - has long advocated for the broader recognition of the SGRQ as an important endpoint in the development of new drugs to treat COPD since it measures the impact of the disease on health related quality of life from a patient perspective. Paul Jones, Emeritus Professor of Respiratory Medicine at St. George’s University of London, Global Medical Expert at GSK, CBQC member and the author of the SGRQ, said he was especially pleased that the FDA has qualified a patient-reported outcome that measures the impact of COPD from a patient’s perspective.

Since its inception in 2010, the CBQC has selected several important measures, including biomarkers, to be considered for qualification by the FDA as tools for drug development. The initial measures/biomarkers selected were plasma fibrinogen (a blood biomarker), the SGRQ, and the 6-minute walk test (an exercise test). The expanded reference regarding the use of the SGRQ as a valid co-primary endpoint in COPD drug/biologic development, described in the FDA’s updated draft guidance, follows on the successful July 2015 qualification of plasma fibrinogen as a biomarker for use in patient stratification.

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First Crowd-Sourced Challenge Will Identify the Best CT Scanners for Lung Cancer and COPD New Early Detection Methods Will Lead to Saving Lives

May 19, 2016   |   
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WASHINGTON, D.C. - May 19, 2016 - The CT Lung Cancer Screening Protocol Challenge, the first crowd-sourced and ultra-low cost challenge of its kind, was launched by the COPD Foundation and its advisory committee to help the lung cancer and COPD imaging research communities determine the best CT scanners and protocols for detecting lung nodules and areas of the lungs that have been damaged due to emphysema. These clinical imaging tasks require high levels of CT scanner image quality and are essential to delivering high performance CT lung cancer and COPD screening.

All global lung cancer and COPD imaging clinical sites are invited to participate. The data submission phase for this first challenge ends on May 31, 2016 and initial findings will be released on June 13, 2016 at the Quantitative Imaging Workshop XIII. The data acquired from this challenge and free CT image quality service will assist the radiological community in developing and setting new standards for lung cancer and COPD quantitative imaging.

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Dr. Byron M. Thomashow Awarded Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award

May 18, 2016   |   
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WASHINGTON, D.C. - May 18, 2016 - The COPD Foundation is proud to announce that its chairman of the board of directors, Byron M. Thomashow, MD, has received the 2016 Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award. Sponsored by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, the award recognizes those who embody the ideals of compassion in the delivery of healthcare. It is given annually to a faculty member who demonstrates outstanding sensitivity and empathy in care delivery as well as demonstrated clinical excellence. The award was presented at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons graduation ceremony on May 18.

In addition to his work as COPD Foundation chairman, Dr. Thomashow is a clinical professor of medicine at the Columbia University Medical Center and an attending physician at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital. He also serves as the medical director of the Jo-Ann LeBuhn Center for Chest Disease on the Columbia campus. He is widely known in the COPD community for his extensive knowledge of the disease and unrestrained compassion for those who are affected by it.

“The COPD Foundation would not exist as it does today without the tireless dedication and empathy Dr. Byron Thomashow embodies,” said Craig Kephart, CEO of the COPD Foundation. “He has touched the lives of thousands of individuals affected by COPD - they know he has a vested interest in their wellbeing. Despite his intense schedule, he always makes the time to connect with the individuals who need him the most. Finding a cure for COPD and improving the lives of those who live with it is Dr. Thomashow’s life’s work. He remains steadfast in this effort and demonstrates his commitment to this end everyday.”

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