Key points

Key points

The content of this evidence summary was up-to-date in May 2018. See summaries of product characteristics (SPCs), British national formulary (BNF) or the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) or NICE websites for up-to-date information.

Regulatory status: Beclometasone/formoterol/glycopyrronium (Trimbow, Chiesi Limited) received a European marketing authorisation in July 2017. This triple-therapy inhaler contains an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS), long-acting beta-2 agonist (LABA) and long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA). It is licensed for maintenance treatment of adults with moderate-to-severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who are not adequately treated by a combination of an ICS and a LABA.

Overview

This evidence summary discusses 3 randomised controlled trials (TRILOGY, TRINITY and TRIBUTE) looking at the safety and efficacy of beclometasone/formoterol/glycopyrronium in people with COPD with severe or very severe airflow limitation, symptoms despite treatment and a history of exacerbations.

Overall, the studies found small, statistically significant improvements in lung function, rates of moderate-to-severe exacerbations of COPD and health-related quality-of-life scores with beclometasone/formoterol/glycopyrronium compared with beclometasone/formoterol or indacaterol/glycopyrronium dual therapy, or tiotropium alone. The improvements may be of limited clinical importance.

In TRILOGY and TRINITY, improvements in primary outcomes relating to lung function and exacerbation rates just reached the level considered to be clinically important. For example, triple therapy with beclometasone/formoterol/glycopyrronium improved:

  • pre-dose forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) by 0.081 litre more than dual therapy with beclometasone/formoterol over 26 weeks, and

  • the rate of moderate-to-severe exacerbations by 0.1 exacerbation per year compared with tiotropium over 52 weeks.

In TRIBUTE, the rate of moderate-to-severe exacerbations was reduced with beclometasone/formoterol/glycopyrronium compared with indacaterol/glycopyrronium. However, although the difference between the groups was statistically significant, it did not reach the level considered to be clinically important. There were few significant differences between the treatment groups for other outcomes in this study.

Beclometasone/formoterol/glycopyrronium did not improve symptoms of dyspnoea significantly more than beclometasone/formoterol. However, responder analyses showed that more people had a clinically important improvement in symptoms and health-related quality of life with triple therapy compared with dual therapy. Fixed triple therapy with a single beclometasone/formoterol/glycopyrronium inhaler was found to be similar to open triple therapy with beclometasone/formoterol plus tiotropium in 2 inhalers for all outcomes.

The adverse effect profile of beclometasone/formoterol/glycopyrronium is well understood because the active ingredients have been used for many years, alone and in combination. From the studies, there was no evidence that the safety of this triple therapy is worse than that of any of the comparators used in the 3 studies. The most frequently reported adverse effects included oral candidiasis, muscle spasms and dry mouth.

Beclometasone/formoterol/glycopyrronium may be an option for some people with moderate-to-severe COPD who have found triple therapy beneficial using more than 1 inhaler and can use a pressurised metered dose inhaler (with or without a spacer), but who have difficulty using multiple inhalers.

A summary to inform local decision-making is shown in table 1.

Table 1 Summary of the evidence on effectiveness, safety, patient factors and resource implications

Effectiveness

  • In TRILOGY (Singh D et al. 2016), at week 26, triple therapy with beclometasone/formoterol/glycopyrronium improved pre-dose FEV1 (a co-primary outcome) compared with beclometasone/formoterol (adjusted mean difference 0.081 litre, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.052 litre to 0.109 litre; p<0.001). Although general consensus is that an improvement below 0.100 litre is not clinically important, the European regulators (the European Medicines Agency) considered that 0.081 litre was a meaningful improvement in a population with severe COPD.

  • In TRINITY (Vestbo J et al. 2017), at week 52, beclometasone/formoterol/glycopyrronium improved pre-dose FEV1 (a secondary outcome) compared with tiotropium (adjusted mean difference 0.061 litre, 95% CI 0.037 litre to 0.086 litre; p<0.0001).

  • In TRINITY, at week 52, fixed triple therapy with beclometasone/formoterol/glycopyrronium was found to be non-inferior to open triple therapy with beclometasone/formoterol and tiotropium for improving pre-dose FEV1 (adjusted mean difference −0.003 litre, 95% CI −0.033 litre to 0.027 litre; p=0.85).

  • In TRIBUTE, beclometasone/formoterol/glycopyrronium improved pre-dose FEV1 (a secondary outcome) compared with indacaterol/glycopyrronium at some but not all time points. Averaged over 52 weeks, the mean improvement from baseline with the triple therapy compared with the dual therapy was 0.022 litre, which reached statistical significance (p<0.05).

  • In TRILOGY, at week 26, there was no statistically significant difference between beclometasone/formoterol/glycopyrronium and beclometasone/formoterol in improvement in Transition Dyspnoea Index (TDI) focal scores (a co-primary outcome; p=0.160).

  • TDI scores were not investigated in TRINITY or TRIBUTE.

  • In TRILOGY, the rate of moderate-to-severe exacerbations was reduced by a relative 23% over 52 weeks with beclometasone/formoterol/glycopyrronium compared with beclometasone/formoterol (annualised rate 0.41 compared with 0.53 respectively; rate ratio [RR] 0.77, 95% CI 0.65 to 0.92; p=0.005).

  • In TRINITY, beclometasone/formoterol/glycopyrronium reduced the rate of moderate-to-severe exacerbations by a relative 20% over 52 weeks compared with tiotropium alone (the primary outcome; annualised rate 0.46 compared with 0.57 respectively; RR 0.80, 95% CI 0.69 to 0.92; p=0.0025).

  • A 20% reduction in exacerbations was considered clinically important by the European Medicines Agency.

  • In TRIBUTE, beclometasone/formoterol/glycopyrronium reduced the rate of moderate-to-severe exacerbations by 15% over 52 weeks compared with indacaterol/glycopyrronium (the primary outcome; annualised rate 0.50 compared with 0.59 respectively; RR 0.85, 95% CI 0.72 to 0.99; p=0.043). This reduction is not considered clinically important according to the criterion used by the European Medicines Agency. There were no significant differences between the groups for other exacerbation outcomes.

  • Responder analyses in TRILOGY and TRINITY showed statistically significant, clinically important improvements in pre-dose FEV1, symptoms of dyspnoea (TDI focal scores) and health-related quality of life (St George's Respiratory Questionnaire [SGRQ] scores) with triple therapy compared with dual or monotherapy.

  • In TRIBUTE, there were no statistically significant differences between the groups in responder analyses for pre-dose FEV1 or SGRQ scores.

  • The use of rescue medication in puffs per day and the proportion of days without rescue medication were also significantly improved with triple therapy compared with dual or monotherapy in TRILOGY and TRINITY, but not TRIBUTE. These beneficial effects were not seen after 26 weeks in TRILOGY.

Safety

  • The adverse effect profile of beclometasone/formoterol/glycopyrronium is well understood. None of the active substances are new and all have been used for many years, individually and in combination, for treating people with COPD of various grades of severity.

  • The European public assessment report concludes that the known adverse events and serious adverse events of the active substances were of a frequency and nature to be expected, and can all be considered reversible with change or modification of treatment.

  • The most frequent adverse effects (in 0.5% of people) include oral candidiasis, muscle spasms and dry mouth.

  • Based on recommendations from the MHRA, the NICE guideline on COPD advises clinicians to be aware of the potential risk of developing adverse effects, including non-fatal pneumonia, in people with COPD treated with inhaled corticosteroids.

Patient factors

  • The results of the studies may not apply to people with mild-to-moderate COPD, and it is unclear if benefits outweigh the risks in this population.

  • People who had asthma, allergic rhinitis or atopy, clinically significant cardiovascular conditions or laboratory abnormalities, or unstable concurrent disease were excluded from TRILOGY and TRINITY, as were people with COPD exacerbations in the 4 weeks before screening or during the run-in period. Some of these populations were also excluded from TRIBUTE. The results of the studies therefore may not apply to the excluded populations.

  • At baseline, study participants had, on average, only 1 exacerbation per year. The results of the studies may not apply to people who have more frequent exacerbations.

  • Other than beclometasone/formoterol, tiotropium and indacaterol/glycopyrronium, it is not known how the efficacy and safety of triple therapy compares with other treatments for COPD, such as other combinations of ICS/LABA (alone or with a separate long-acting muscarinic antagonist [LAMA]) or other LABA/LAMAs.

  • It is not known from the studies whether the fixed triple-therapy inhaler has any advantages over open triple therapy in terms of patient factors such as preference, adherence to treatment and ease of use of the device.

  • Triple therapy in a single inhaler may be preferable for people who have difficulty using more than 1 device or who find their medication regimen difficult or confusing, and have trouble complying with treatment. However, triple therapy lacks flexibility and makes it difficult to amend the individual medicines if treatment needs changing for any reason.

  • Some people may prefer a particular inhaler device or be able to use one device better than another. Some people with COPD are unable to use a spacer, others like to use one.

  • Beclometasone/formoterol/glycopyrronium has not been compared with the triple-therapy inhaler containing fluticasone/umeclidinium/vilanterol.

  • Beclometasone/formoterol/glycopyrronium is supplied in a pressurised metered dose inhaler and can be used with a spacer.

  • Fluticasone/umeclidinium/vilanterol is supplied in a dry powder inhaler and cannot be used with a spacer.

  • Beclometasone/formoterol/glycopyrronium is administered twice daily and fluticasone/umeclidinium/vilanterol is administered once daily.

Resource implications

  • The acquisition cost of beclometasone/formoterol/glycopyrronium (Trimbow) is less than that of other combinations of ICS/LABA plus LAMA in 2 inhalers.

  • A 30-day supply of treatment with beclometasone, formoterol and glycopyrronium costs £44.50 (excluding VAT) when the triple-therapy inhaler (Trimbow) is prescribed. This compares with £56.82 (excluding VAT) when beclometasone and formoterol are prescribed in a dual-therapy inhaler (Fostair or Fostair NEXThaler) and glycopyrronium in a monotherapy inhaler (Seebri Breezhaler).

  • Triple therapy with beclometasone/formoterol/glycopyrronium (Trimbow) costs the same as triple therapy with fluticasone/umeclidinium/vilanterol (Trelegy; costs taken from the Drug Tariff and MIMS, March 2018).