Boehringer Ingelheim receives approval for Aservo EquiHaler, industry first therapy for severe equine asthma

Horses with severe equine asthma struggle to breath, even at rest. This week, the European Commission granted marketing authorization to Boehringer Ingelheim for the new Aservo EquiHaler – and horses that suffer from severe equine asthma can now benefit from this new therapy.

While inhaled therapies for the treatment of asthma are common in human health, the approval of the Aservo EquiHaler marks an industry first in equine medicine, as until now, there has been no approved inhalant therapy licensed for use in horses with severe equine asthma.

The Aservo EquiHaler represents the culmination of over a decade of collaboration between Boehringer Ingelheim’s human pharma and animal health R&D groups. The Respimat inhaler used in human respiratory disease is differentiated by the unique Soft Mist Technology, which was integrated into the new Aservo EquiHaler, allowing medication to be inhaled, deep into the lung. “The inhaler is a prime example of leveraging innovation efforts of both our businesses. This has been a strength in the past and we will expand this in the near future to further increase the delivery of innovative solutions for our patients and customers,” shares Eric Haaksma, Head of R&D, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health Business Unit.

The newly approved inhaler is designed specifically for use in horses. It 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 corticosteroid that is activated directly in the lung, reducing lower airway inflammation associated with severe equine asthma.

“Treating severe equine asthma can be challenging for veterinarians and horse owners, who struggle to find safe and effective ways to help horses breath,” 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.”

The Aservo EquiHaler is expected to be available for veterinarians in the EU in 2020.