The efficacy and safety of cilomilast in COPD.

Stephen Rennard, Katharine Knobil, Klaus F. Rabe, Andrea Morris, Neil Schachter, Nicholas Locantore, Walter G. Canonica, Yuanjue Zhu, Frank Barnhart

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


The aim of this review is to present the clinical data on the efficacy and safety of cilomilast in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Over 6000 COPD patients received cilomilast during an extensive clinical development programme performed by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).Five phase III randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group pivotal studies were conducted in poorly reversible patients (<15% or <200 mL improvement over baseline in forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV(1)) after salbutamol). Patients were randomized to receive oral cilomilast 15 mg (n = 2088) or placebo (n = 1408) twice daily for 24 weeks. The co-primary efficacy variables were changes from baseline in trough (predose) FEV(1) and in total score of the St George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ).Additional studies were performed to investigate the anti-inflammatory actions of cilomilast by measuring inflammatory cells and mediators in biopsies and induced sputum; to assess the long-term effects of cilomilast; to assess the cardiac safety of cilomilast; and to assess the efficacy of cilomilast on hyperinflation. Results from one of the phase III and from one supportive study have been previously published.In the phase III pivotal studies, when averaged over 24 weeks, the mean change from baseline in FEV(1) in the cilomilast group showed improvement compared with placebo in all studies (range 24-44 mL treatment difference). When averaged over 24 weeks, there was a similar improvement in the mean total SGRQ score in both treatment groups with a decrease ranging from -1.8 to -4.2 units in the cilomilast group and 0.4 to -4.9 units in the placebo group. Only one study, however, showed both a statistically and clinically meaningful difference between the two treatment groups (treatment difference -4.1 units; p < 0.001). Although cilomilast was shown to reduce COPD exacerbations in some of these studies, there was no effect on the incidence of COPD exacerbations in a study specifically powered to detect a difference compared with placebo.No significant change was found in the primary endpoints of the anti-inflammatory studies, although some anti-inflammatory activity was detected, including a reduction in tissue CD8+ T lymphocytes and CD68+ macrophages in airway biopsies. In addition, studies did not demonstrate a consistent significant effect of cilomilast on hyperinflation.In all studies, adverse events associated with the gastrointestinal body system were reported more frequently in the cilomilast group than the placebo group and predominantly occurred within the first 2 weeks of initiating cilomilast therapy.During the cilomilast development programme a number of different endpoints were investigated to characterize the efficacy and safety of this second-generation phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor. Safety assessments throughout the late-phase programme did not reveal any evidence of serious safety concerns with the use of cilomilast. Previous studies in phase II and early phase III had shown improvements in efficacy endpoints and some evidence of an anti-inflammatory mechanism of action. However, subsequent phase III studies failed to definitively confirm the earlier programme results, which led to termination of the development of cilomilast.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-57
Number of pages55
Volume68 Suppl 2
StatePublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'The efficacy and safety of cilomilast in COPD.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this