(Alliance News) - AstraZeneca PLC on Wednesday said the US Food & Drug Administration approved its asthma drug Airsupra for adults.

Citing the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, AstraZeneca said asthma affects around 25 million people in the US.

In a phase 3 study entitled Denali, "Airsupra significantly improved lung function compared to the individual components albuterol and budesonide in patients with mild to moderate asthma," Astra said. Albuterol is used to prevent and treat breathing difficulties, while budesonide treats asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

"With patients experiencing more than 10 million asthma exacerbations each year in the US and uncontrolled asthma expected to cost the US economy billions of dollars in direct medical costs alone over the next 20 years, today’s positive decision is good news for those adults with asthma who make up more than 80% of asthma patients in the US. Physicians will be able to offer their patients Airsupra, an important new rescue treatment that reduces the risk of asthma exacerbations," said Mene Pangalos, executive vice president at AstraZeneca's BioPharmaceuticals research & development unit.

AstraZeneca shares were 0.6% lower at 11,736.00 pence each on Wednesday afternoon in London.

By Tom Budszus, Alliance News reporter

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