These data were presented at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) 2014 annual meeting in San Diego.

Dr Pierluigi Paggiaro of Respiratory Medicine at University of Pisa, and lead author on the GraziaTinA-asthma study noted even with current treatment options, at least 40% of patients with asthma remain symptomatic, which may put them at greater risk for exacerbations or asthma worsening.

"It is important to investigate the efficacy and safety of new treatment options across different asthma severities," Dr Paggiaro added.

The first results from the Phase III GraziaTinA-asthma study were announced. The study demonstrated that tiotropium Respimat® improved lung function and was well tolerated in patients with asthma who remain symptomatic while receiving low-dose maintenance ICS treatment.

Also presented at the meeting was a new subset of data from the Phase III MezzoTinA-asthma trials. The data showed that in patients with asthma who remained symptomatic while receiving moderate-dose maintenance ICS therapy, the addition of once-daily tiotropium reduced airflow obstruction independent of allergic status, as measured by the TH2 phenotype biomarker.

Finally, an analysis of a subset from the Phase III PrimoTinA-asthma trials found the addition of once-daily tiotropium improved lung function responses independently of concomitant use of a leukotriene receptor antagonist (LTRA).

This effect was demonstrated in patients with asthma who remained symptomatic despite receiving treatment with at least ICS/LABA.4 Previous results from these pivotal, PrimoTinA-asthma trials have shown that the addition of tiotropium Respimat significantly increased time to first severe asthma exacerbation, as well as time to first episode of asthma worsening, compared with at least ICS/LABA therapy alone (current standard therapy).