A New COPD Treatment is FDA Approved

Posted on July 08, 2024   |   

This article was written by Jonnie Korinko, MSRC, RRT, RRT-ACCS.


On June 26, 2024, Verona Pharmaceuticals announced that its new medication, Ensifentrine (Ohtuvayre), was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the maintenance treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). See the press release here. Ensifentrine works in two main ways to help people breathe better:

  1. Relaxing Muscles: It helps the muscles around the airways in the lungs relax. Imagine squeezing a straw and letting go—more air can get through. Ensifentrine helps open up the airways so air can flow more easily.
  2. Reducing Swelling: Sometimes, the airways get swollen and irritated, making breathing even harder. Ensifentrine helps reduce this swelling, like putting ice on a sprained ankle to make it feel better and less swollen.

Here's why this drug development is so important:

There are more treatment options available now. The medicine has a dual action, meaning it works in two ways—relaxing muscles in the airways and reducing swelling. Using a medicine that can do both actions may be more effective for some people than a medicine that only addresses one issue.

This release shows innovation in drug development for COPD. Ensifentrine acts on receptors different from those normally targeted in COPD treatment. This development could open up new research opportunities for the COPD community and provide an alternative treatment option for people who do not respond well to current treatments

This treatment can help people with COPD. The medicine may help lessen COPD symptoms, make breathing easier, and lead to fewer hospital visits.

David M. Mannino, MD, the Chief Medical Officer and co-founder of the COPD Foundation, wants the community to know that "Ensifentrine (Ohtuvayre- pronounced 'Oh- two- vare') is a new nebulized COPD therapy that will be able to both improve airflow and decrease the risk of exacerbations without using either inhaled steroids or bronchodilators. This is the first new class of medication approved for treating COPD in nearly 20 years."

Check out these articles where Dr. Mannino discusses Ensifentrine and future COPD medications:

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