GSK, GOLD and the COPD Foundation announce formation of a new external expert Governance Board for the COPD Assessment Test (CAT)

September 08, 2014

LONDON, UK - September 8, 2014 - As part of activities at the European Respiratory Society (ERS) International Congress in Germany, GSK, the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) and the COPD Foundation today announced the formation of a new Governance Board to help promote and encourage further uptake of the ‘COPD Assessment Test’, known as the CAT.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD is an umbrella term to describe conditions that limit airflow to the lungs including both chronic bronchitis and emphysema, which affect over 210 million people globally.[i]  The CAT was developed as a short and easy-to-use tool that could facilitate and encourage meaningful discussions between healthcare professionals and patients, enabling a reliable measure of the impact of COPD on a person’s life to be determined and assessed over time. It measures a number of symptoms, the total scores of which can be used to give an overall objective impact and severity score for a patient’s COPD. This score can then be used to guide discussions and enhance doctor-patient communications, with the ultimate aim of improving the management of COPD and patients’ quality of life.

To access the CAT click here

“The CAT was launched in 2009 to provide physicians and patients with a tool that we believed could help improve the management of COPD.  We know the CAT is valued by those working in clinical practice, and also researchers, who use it as an endpoint to evaluate overall treatment effect on patients.  However, it has not been universally adopted,” said Ruth Tal-singer, Vice President COPD Clinical Discovery, GSK.  “Establishing a new Governance Board signals a new era for the CAT and how it can evolve through the involvement of external respiratory experts.”

John Walsh, President and Co-Founder of the COPD Foundation, said, “We were enthusiastic about establishing and becoming a part of a CAT Governance Board, as we firmly believed this was an important step to help encourage more people to use the tool. We know from our members that they are much more comfortable using tools that are not owned or governed by any individual organisation. We are pleased to be involved in the CAT moving forward on behalf, and for the potential benefit of our members.”

Professor Claus Vogelmeier, GOLD Chair, commented, “I believe establishing a Governance Board for the CAT is an important step in its evolution.  From my own first-hand experience I know how useful the CAT can be and I am very supportive and committed to playing a role in efforts to expand usage and explore how we can maximse its value to those who manage COPD but also patients who are living with the disease.” 

The new Governance Board

The new board comprises the following individuals:

  • Foundation Chair: Paul Jones
  • GOLD Scientific Committee Chair: Claus Vogelmeie
  • COPD Foundation Board Member: Steve Rennard
  • Foundation Academic Research User: Mike Polkey
  • Foundation Industry Research User: Ruth Tal-Singer
  • Scientific Adviser: Maggie Tabberer

The primary focus of the Governance Board initially will be to maximise the use and value of the CAT for patients, healthcare professionals and researchers. Key activities will include:

  • Maximise value of CAT by promoting uptake and usage as widely as possible and ensuring adoption of new terms of use
  • Maintain the integrity of CAT by developing and approving translations, which will be available via the website
  • Expand the use of the CAT by utilising apps and digital applications

The Governance Board will also explore the potential of the CAT as a drug development tool. GSK will continue to hold the copyright and to provide day-to-day administrative support to protect the integrity of CAT, to ensure that all translations are managed and made available to patients, healthcare professionals and researchers, and to develop and maintain the website.  However in all activities related to the CAT, GSK will be guided by the advice and direction given by the CAT Governance Board.

[i] World Health Organization. Global surveillance, prevention and control of chronic respiratory diseases : a comprehensive approach. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2007.