A new inhaler for treating horses with asthma has been developed and is expected to be on the market in Europe later this year. Animal health company Boehringer Ingelheim said its new Aservo EquiHaler is the first approved inhalant therapy licensed for use in horses with severe equine asthma.
Inhaled therapies for the treatment of asthma are common in human health, but until now, there has been no approved inhalant therapy licensed for use in horses with the condition.
Boehringer Ingelheim said the Respimat inhaler used in human respiratory disease is differentiated by the unique Soft Mist Technology, which was integrated into the new inhaler, allowing medication to be inhaled deep into the lung.
The product is the result of more than a decade of collaboration between Boehringer Ingelheim’s human pharma and animal health R&D groups.
The Aservo EquiHaler includes an ergonomic handle and dosing lever for ease of user handling, and a nostril adaptor that fits gently inside the nostril of the horse, allowing them to easily inhale the medicated mist. The active ingredient in the Aservo EquiHaler is the prodrug ciclesonide, which is a third-generation corticosteroid that is activated directly in the lung, reducing lower airway inflammation associated with severe equine asthma.
Ciclesonide is used to treat clinical symptoms associated with equine asthma, formerly known as RAO (recurrent airway obstruction) and SPAOPD (summer pasture associated pulmonary disease).
Usability engineering was applied to the product’s development, as horsemen guide their horses by the right hand and stay at the horse’s left side. Thus, the inhaler must be activated using the left hand, even if the majority of horsemen are right-handed.
The Aservo EquiHaler has also been tuned so that a smaller hand can tension the spring and then actuate the device by a second small movement of the lever.
“Treating severe equine asthma can be challenging for veterinarians and horse owners, who struggle to find safe and effective ways to help horses breathe,” says Erich Schoett, Global Business Head of Equine for the Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health Business Unit.
“Bringing a new, safe and effective treatment to the market is something that we can really be proud of. It is a strong indicator of the commitment that Boehringer Ingelheim has to the health and welfare of horses, and to the investment that we make into continuing to advance therapies through collaboration and innovation.”