• Asian population;
  • bronchodilator;
  • COPD;
  • efficacy;
  • indacaterol;
  • safety


Background and objective:  The efficacy and safety of indacaterol, a novel inhaled once daily ultra long-acting β2-agonist was evaluated in COPD patients in six Asian countries/areas. This study was primarily designed to obtain the regulatory approval of indacaterol in Japan.

Methods:  Moderate-to-severe COPD patients were randomized to indacaterol 150 µg, indacaterol 300 µg or placebo once daily. Efficacy variables: trough FEV1 (average of 23 h 10 min and 23 h 45 min post-dose values), health status (St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire) and transition dyspnoea index at week 12. Safety/tolerability was evaluated.

Results:  A total of 347 patients were randomized (96.5% male, mean (SD) age 66.7 (8.38) years, post-bronchodilator FEV1% predicted: 53.7 (12.50)); 88.8% completed. The least squares means (LSM) trough FEV1 at week 12 for indacaterol 150 µg, indacaterol 300 µg and placebo were 1.34 L, 1.37 L and 1.17 L, respectively, with differences versus placebo exceeding the prespecified minimal clinically important difference of 0.12 L (0.17 L and 0.20 L for indacaterol 150 µg and 300 µg, respectively, both P < 0.001). The week 12 LSM transition dyspnoea index score was statistically superior for both indacaterol doses versus placebo (differences of 1.30 and 1.26, P < 0.001; both exceeding the minimal clinically important difference of 1). At week 12, both indacaterol doses provided statistically significant (P ≤ 0.005) and clinically meaningful (≥4 units) improvements in LSM St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire total score versus placebo (differences: −4.8 and −5.7 units). Adverse events for indacaterol (49.1%, both doses) were lower than placebo (59.0%) and were mostly mild/moderate in severity; no deaths were reported.

Conclusions:  Indacaterol provided clinically significant bronchodilation and improvements in dyspnoea and health status in Asian COPD patients.