Basel-based Novartis AG has applied to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the approval of two lung disease drugs which have passed final-stage clinical tests. The drugs are said to maximally improve the breathing capability of patients suffering from obstructive pulmonary disease.

QVA149 and NVA237 were submitted by Novartis in the later part of 2014, and according to a statement released by the drugmaker, third-phase clinical trials on both drugs indicate “positive” results at improving lung functions.

According to Novartis, “There is an urgent need for new treatment options in COPD because many patients remain symptomatic despite medical therapy.”

Pharmaceutical companies are stepping up efforts to introduce new respiratory treatments as quickly as possible because existing drugs are fast losing their intellectual property rights. For instance, the European patent on GSK’s Advair expired in 2013; and considering the fact that COPD kills a person every 10 seconds across the world, there is urgent need to research and manufacture new, effective lung drugs.

According to the World Health Organization, COPD might become the third leading cause of death globally by 2030, and this calls for urgent concerted effort at treating the infection. Included within COPD diagnosis are lung conditions such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

The FDA approval of these two lung drugs from Novartis would mark a milestone in the manufacture of effective drugs for treating terrible lung conditions.

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