Background: A number of single-inhaler triple therapies are being developed for asthma, including the extrafine formulation of beclometasone dipropionate (BDP), formoterol fumarate (FF), and glycopyrronium (G). Given asthma is a heterogenous disease, we investigated whether the clinical response to the addition of the long-acting muscarinic antagonist component within inhaled triple therapy was impacted by a range of clinical characteristics.
Methods: These were pre-specified and post-hoc sub-group analyses of TRIMARAN and TRIGGER, which were double-blind, 52-week studies comparing medium-strength (100/6/10 µg; TRIMARAN) and high-strength (200/6/10 µg; TRIGGER) BDP/FF/G with the respective BDP/FF strengths in adults with uncontrolled asthma and a history of ≥ 1 exacerbation. Co-primary endpoints were pre-dose forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) at Week 26 and the rate of moderate-to-severe exacerbations over 52 weeks. Key secondary endpoints: peak FEV1 at Week 26 and average morning peak expiratory flow over the first 26 weeks in each study, and severe exacerbation rate over 52 weeks (pooled data).
Results: Baseline clinical characteristics (pre-specified analyses) had no consistent effect on the lung function improvements with BDP/FF/G. For the exacerbation endpoints, sub-groups with higher reversibility gained greatest relative benefit from BDP/FF/G versus BDP/FF. In post-hoc analyses with patients sub-grouped by screening blood eosinophil values, in TRIMARAN the greatest relative effect of BDP/FF/G versus BDP/FF on the lung function endpoints was in the ≤ 300 cells/µL group; in TRIGGER, eosinophil levels did not markedly influence the relative efficacy of BDP/FF/G versus BDP/FF. Eosinophil levels did not influence relative efficacy on moderate-to-severe or severe exacerbations.
Conclusion: Overall, the relative efficacy of extrafine BDP/FF/G versus BDP/FF was not influenced by a range of clinical characteristics. However, some patient sub-groups gained additional benefit from BDP/FF/G for certain endpoints. In particular, for exacerbations the relative efficacy of BDP/FF/G was greater in more reversible patients.