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Since the approval of the Seretide (Advair) fluticasone/salmeterol dry powder inhaler in 1999, inhaled therapies that combine a bronchodilator, often a longacting beta agonist (LABA), with a maintenance drug, usually an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS), have taken over a large portion of the asthma and COPD markets. And, increasingly, a long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) is being added to LABA/ICS formulations to create triple therapy combinations.
Developers of dry powder formulations that contain multiple active ingredients are increasingly turning to scientists with expertise in Raman chemical imaging who, using a novel proprietary analytical method, are providing important data about the aerosolization behavior of these powder mixtures that was previously unavailable. This analysis offers developers new opportunities to optimize both the formulations and the delivery devices for combination therapies, potentially shortening development time and decreasing cost significantly.