Health Canada has approved Telegy Ellipta (fluticasone furoate + umeclidinium + vilanterol) for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who are not inadequately being controlled by current treatments.  This triple drug combination will likely be reserved for people with the more severe form of COPD.

COPD is a progressive lung disease affecting about 772,200 Canadians. It is the leading cause of hospitalizations in Canada and the 4th leading cause of death. Most patients with COPD have a history of smoking.

The progressive nature of COPD means that most patients will begin therapy with one type of bronchodilator but as symptoms worsen, combinations therapies are prescribed (e.g., Anoro (umeclidinium + vilanterol), Ultibro (glycopyrronium + indacaterol, Advair (fluticasome + salmeterol), Breo (fluticasone furoate + vilanterol trifenatate, or Symbicort (budesonide + formoterol fumarate).

Telegy Ellipta combines a corticosteroid (fluticasone furoate), a muscarinic antagonist (umeclidinium) and a beta-2 agonist (vilanterol). The combination drug is administered once a day using a dry powder inhaler.

Details of the data reviewed by Health Canada have not been provided but the drugs approval was likely based on two phase 3 clinical trials showing the triple combination inhaler to improve FEV1 and reduce the need for rescue inhalants compared to other double combination inhalers.

According the GSK Canada, the drug should be available in June.