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Clinical Trial of the Efficacy and Safety of Beclomethasone Dipropionate Plus Formoterol vs Fluticasone Propionate Plus Salmeterol in the 6 Months Step Down Treatment of Asthma (FORTE)

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A. Identifier:
First received: July 4, 2007
Last updated: March 28, 2017
Last verified: March 2017

Asthma is a serious global health problem. People of all ages in countries throughout the world are affected by this chronic airway disorder that can be severe and sometimes fatal. The prevalence of asthma is increasing everywhere, especially among children.According to international guidelines, once control of asthma is achieved and maintained for at least 3 months, a gradual reduction of the maintenance therapy should be tried in order to identify the minimum therapy required to maintain control. This will help reduce the risk of side effects and enhance patient adherence to the treatment plan.

Reduction of therapy in patients on combination therapy should begin with a reduction in the dose of inhaled glucocorticosteroid.1 The present study is designed to evaluate if patients with controlled asthma treated with FP 1000 mcg + salmeterol 100 mcg daily can be stepped down. Stepping-down will be attempted with two medications: a new combination of extrafine beclomethasone dipropionate 400 mcg + formoterol 24 mcg daily (test medication, Foster™) and, alternatively, fluticasone propionate 500 mcg + salmeterol 100 mcg daily(reference medication) without losing asthma control.If this hypothesis will be confirmed, the present study will demonstrate that asthma control can be maintained with less than half the dose of inhaled corticosteroid and with less medical costs.

Given the aims of this study, the population to be monitored includes adult patients with moderate persistent asthma, which can be defined controlled according to the current guidelines under standard stabilised treatment. The intended treatment duration is therefore designed to ensure that good control of asthma is firmly achieved before stepping down the treatment (8 weeks run-in period), but also that the condition of the patients are followed long enough (24 weeks comparative treatment period) to ensure that a new stable condition is also obtained and properly monitored.

Condition Intervention Phase
Drug: Beclomethasone plus formoterol fixed combination
Drug: Fluticasone plus salmeterol fixed combination
Phase 3

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: No masking
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Prospective, Randomised, Open-label, Multicentre, Active Drug Controlled, Parallel Group Design Clinical Trial of the Efficacy and Safety of Beclomethasone Dipropionate 400 mcg + Formoterol 24 mcg pMDI Via HFA-134a (Foster™) vs. Fluticasone Propionate 500 mcg + Salmeterol Xinafoate 100 mcg DPI (Seretide Diskus®) in the 6 Months Stepdown Treatment of Adult Patients With Controlled Asthma

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A.:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Morning pre-dose PEF measured daily by patients (mean of the last 2 weeks of treatment period). [ Time Frame: mean of the last 2 weeks of treatment period ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • symptom scores and symptom free days [ Time Frame: in the whole study period and every 2-week period ]
  • morning and evening pre-dose PEF and FEV1 measured daily by patients; [ Time Frame: daily and mean each 2-week period ]
  • pulmonary function tests measured at clinics (pre-dose PEF, FVC and FEV1); [ Time Frame: at aech clinic visit ]
  • change of FEV1 from pre-dose to 5, 15, 30 and 60 minutes post-dose; [ Time Frame: randomization visit and end of treatment visit ]
  • number, frequency and severity of exacerbations, time to first exacerbation [ Time Frame: whole study period ]
  • adverse events and adverse drug reactions [ Time Frame: retrospectively assessed at each visit ]
  • use of relief salbutamol and days without use of relief salbutamol; [ Time Frame: daily ]
  • proportion of patients with controlled asthma and partly controlled asthma, weeks of controlled asthma and partly controlled asthma; [ Time Frame: weekly ]
  • pharmaco-economic analysis of medical and non medical costs. [ Time Frame: during study period ]
  • 12 h-overnight urinary cortisol/creatinine [ Time Frame: (collected at visit 3, 6 and 9) ]
  • vital signs [ Time Frame: at each visit ]

Estimated Enrollment: 382
Study Start Date: April 2007
Study Completion Date: March 2010
Primary Completion Date: March 2010 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: 1
Drug: Beclomethasone plus formoterol fixed combination
100+6 pMDI
Active Comparator: 2
Drug: Fluticasone plus salmeterol fixed combination
diskus 250/50


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 65 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Patients will be enrolled for screening at Visit 1 into the run-in period if they meet all the following criteria:
  • Clinical diagnosis of moderate persistent asthma for at least 6 months, according to GINA revised version 2005 guidelines 1 and considering current treatment;
  • Forced expiratory volume (FEV1) or peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) ≥ 80% of the predicted normal value;
  • Treated with fluticasone 1000 mcg + salmeterol 100 mcg daily for at least 4 weeks at a stable dose;
  • Reporting no nocturnal symptoms or awakenings, no exacerbations, no limitations of activities, symptoms in ≤2 days and use of rescue medication ≤2 days per week, in the last 4 weeks;
  • Exhibiting a co-operative attitude and ability to be trained to correctly use the study devices and to complete the diary cards.

At the end of run in period (Week 8+0; Visit 3), patients will be recruited into the treatment period and randomized to treatment if they meet the following criterion:

  • Asthma is controlled 1 in each of the last 4 weeks of run-in (no nocturnal symptoms or awakenings; no exacerbations; no limitations of activities; symptoms in ≤2 days; use of rescue medication ≤2 days; morning PEF ≥80% of predicted in every day) confirmed by reviewing the diary cards.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Inability to carry out pulmonary function testing;
  • Diagnosis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) as defined by the NHLBI/WHO's GOLD guidelines;
  • Current smokers or recent (less than one year) ex-smokers with a smoking history of ≥10 pack/years;
  • History of near fatal asthma;
  • Evidence of symptomatic infection of the airways in the previous 8 weeks;
  • Three or more courses of oral corticosteroids or hospitalisation due to asthma during the previous 6 months;
  • Patients treated with anticholinergics and antihistamines during the previous 2 weeks, with topical or intranasal corticosteroids and leukotriene antagonists during the previous 4 weeks;
  • History or current evidence of heart failure, coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, severe hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias;
  • Diabetes mellitus;
  • PTCA or CABG during the previous six months;
  • Patients with an abnormal QTc interval value in the ECG test, defined as >450 msec in males or > 470 msec in females;
  • Other haemodynamic relevant rhythm disturbances (including atrial flutter or atrial fibrillation with ventricular response, bradycardia (≤55 bpm), evidence of atrial-ventricular (AV) block on ECG of more than 1st degree;
  • Clinically significant or unstable concurrent diseases: uncontrolled hyperthyroidism, significant hepatic impairment, poorly controlled pulmonary (tuberculosis, active mycotic infection of the lung), gastrointestinal (e.g. active peptic ulcer), neurological or haematological autoimmune diseases;
  • Cancer or any chronic diseases with prognosis <2 years;
  • History of alcohol or drug abuse;
  • Patients treated with monoamine oxidase inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants or beta-blockers as regular use;
  • Allergy, sensitivity or intolerance to study drugs and/or study drug formulation ingredients;
  • Patients who received any investigational new drug within the last 12 weeks;

At the end of run in period (Week 8+0; Visit 3), patients will not be randomized to treatment if they do not completely meet the definition of "controlled asthma". These subjects will be considered screening failures and will not count against the planned number to be recruited.

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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00497237

Clinic of Pulmonology, UMHAT "Sveti Georgi"
Plovdiv, Bulgaria, 4002
First Department of Pulmonology, Regional Dispensery of Pulmonology and Phtisiatric Diseases with Stationary (RDPPDS)
Ruse, Bulgaria, 7002
Clinic of Pulmonology, University Hospital "Lozenetz"
Sofia, Bulgaria
First Internal Clinic, Endocrinology and Pulmonology Department MHAT
Stara Zagora, Bulgaria, 6000
U.O.C. S.Anna e S. Sebastiano - Malattie dell'apparato respiratorio
Caserta, Italy
Ospedale S. Camillo de Lellis - U.O.C. Pneumologia
Chieti, Italy
Ospedale Cardarelli - Fisiopatologia Respiratoria
Napoli, Italy
CNR - Dipartimento di Fisiopatologia Respiratoria
Palermo, Italy
Department of Hospital Pediatrics Crimean State Medical University. Pulmonology Department of Republican Clinical Children's Hospital
Crimea, Ukraine, 95004
Pulmonological Department #2
Kharkiv, Ukraine, 61035
Pulmonological Department of the Institute of Therapy, Ukrainian Academy of Medical Sciences
Kharkiv, Ukraine, 61035
Pulmonological and Allergological Department of the Kharkov Regional Clinical Hospital
Kharkov, Ukraine, 61022
Department of General Practice- Family medicine. Medical Academy of postgraduate education.
Kharkov, Ukraine
Department of Diagnostic, Therapy and Clinical Pharmacology of Lung Diseases of the Institute of Phthisiology and Pulmonology Academy of Medical Science of the Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine, 03680
Institute of pthysiology and pulmonology Academy of medical science of the Ukraine.
Kiev, Ukraine, 03680
Pulmonology Department of the Institute of Phthisiology and Pulmonology AMS of the Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine, 03680
Clinical Hospital 8, Department of pediatrics and clinical laboratories
Kriviy Rig, Ukraine
Department of Hospital Therapy of Lugansk State Medical Institute. Lugansk Regional Clinical Hospital
Lugansk, Ukraine, 91045
Sponsors and Collaborators
Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A.
Principal Investigator: Pierluigi Paggiaro, MD Ospedale Cisanello, Pisa
  More Information

Additional Information:
Responsible Party: Gabriele Nicolini, Chiesi Farmaceutici Identifier: NCT00497237     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: MC/PR/033011/005/06
2006-005349-13 ( EudraCT Number )
Study First Received: July 4, 2007
Last Updated: March 28, 2017

Keywords provided by Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A.:

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Anti-Asthmatic Agents
Bronchial Diseases
Respiratory Tract Diseases
Lung Diseases, Obstructive
Lung Diseases
Respiratory Hypersensitivity
Hypersensitivity, Immediate
Immune System Diseases
Formoterol Fumarate
Salmeterol Xinafoate
Bronchodilator Agents
Autonomic Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Respiratory System Agents
Adrenergic beta-2 Receptor Agonists
Adrenergic beta-Agonists
Adrenergic Agonists
Adrenergic Agents
Neurotransmitter Agents
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Anti-Inflammatory Agents
Dermatologic Agents
Anti-Allergic Agents
Hormones processed this record on April 27, 2017