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Asmanex Twisthaler approved for once daily management of asthma

KENILWORTH, N.J., March 31, 2005 -- Schering-Plough Corporation announced that the FDA has approved the use of Asmanex Twisthaler 220 mcg (mometasone furoate inhalation powder) for the first-line maintenance treatment of asthma as preventive therapy in patients 12 years of age and older.

Asmanex is also the only inhaled asthma controller therapy approved for once daily initiation and management of asthma in patients previously treated with bronchodilators alone or inhaled corticosteroids. Clinical studies with Asmanex have shown substantial improvement in lung function, decreased use of rescue medication, decreased incidence of nighttime awakenings and significant improvements in daytime symptoms such as coughing and wheezing.
In a clinical trial, Asmanex showed substantial improvement in lung function and decreased albuterol (rescue medication) use compared with placebo, as evidenced by a 12-week, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 400 patients with persistent asthma previously dependent on inhaled corticosteroid therapy. At endpoint, patients who received Asmanex had a significant improvement in nighttime awakenings and daytime symptoms -- providing night and day relief.

The NAEPP (National Asthma Education and Prevention Program) asthma treatment guidelines recommend single-ingredient, low-dose inhaled corticosteroid as the foundation of therapy for mild persistent asthma management.

Asmanex is currently approved for asthma treatment in more than 40 countries. Mometasone furoate, the active ingredient in Asmanex, was first introduced in the U.S. in 1987 as the dermatologic ointment, Elocon (mometasone furoate ointment) and in 1997 as the nasal spray, Nasonex (mometasone furoate monohydrate).

In clinical trials with Asmanex, adverse events were generally mild to moderate in severity. The following incidence of common adverse experiences is based on double-blind data from ten placebo-controlled clinical trials involving a total of 2,809 patients previously maintained on inhaled steroids and/or bronchodilators (1,140 males, 1,669 females, age 12-83 years), who were treated for up to 12 weeks with the Asmanex product, an active comparator, or placebo. Adverse events were generally mild to moderate in severity and included headache, allergic rhinitis, pharyngitis, upper respiratory infection, sinusitis, oral candidiasis, dysmenorrhea, musculoskeletal pain, back pain, dyspepsia, myalgia, abdominal pain, and nausea.

Asmanex offers an effective inhaled corticosteroid to control asthma symptoms in an easy to use device that was awarded the DuPont Award for innovation in packaging. The Asmanex Twisthaler employs an inhalation- driven device that does not use a propellant, thus eliminating the need for hand-breath coordination, and it provides patients with a numeric dose counter that provides a visual indication of the remaining doses.

The recommended starting dose of Asmanex is one inhalation daily in the evening for patients previously treated with bronchodilators alone or inhaled corticosteroids. For patients previously maintained on oral corticosteroids, the recommended starting dose of Asmanex is two inhalations twice daily.

Asmanex is expected to be available in the U.S. in the autumn of 2005. Full prescribing information is available at:

Source: Schering-Plough Corporation

Posted: March 2005