A 12-week Study to Assess the Efficacy and Safety of Budesonide and Formoterol Fumarate Metered Dose Inhaler Relative to Budesonide Metered Dose Inhaler in Participants With Inadequately Controlled Asthma (LITHOS)

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Status and phase

Phase 3




Drug: BFF MDI 160/9.6 μg BID (320/19.2μg/day)
Drug: BD MDI 160 μg BID (320 μg/day)

Study type


Funder types



2021-003334-36 (EudraCT Number)

Details and patient eligibility


This is a 12-week study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of budesonide and formoterol fumarate metered dose inhaler relative to budesonide metered dose inhaler in adults and adolescents with inadequately controlled asthma.

Full description

This is a Phase III, randomized, double-blind, parallel group, multicenter study comparing Budesonide and Formoterol Fumarate Metered Dose Inhaler (BFF MDI) 160/9.6 μg twice daily (BID) to Budesonide MDI 160 μg (BD MDI), over 12 weeks. The study population will consist of adult and adolescent participants with asthma who remain inadequately controlled, as demonstrated by an Asthma Control Questionnaire (ACQ)-7 total score ≥1.5, despite treatment with low dose inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) or ICS/long-acting beta2-agonist (LABA). This study is to assess the benefits and safety of BFF MDI on lung function and asthma health-related quality of life.

This study will be conducted at approximately 90 sites worldwide and will randomize approximately 340 adult and adolescent participants.


340 estimated patients




12 to 80 years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion and exclusion criteria

Inclusion Criteria

  1. 12 to 80 years of age, male and female, BMI <40 kg/m2; females of childbearing potential should be using highly effective birth control.
  2. Participants who have a documented history of physician-diagnosed asthma ≥ 6 months prior to Visit 1, according to GINA guidelines [GINA 2021]. Healthcare records for one year prior to Visit 1 must be provided for adolescent participants (12 to < 18 years of age) to ensure consistent evaluation and follow-up of treatment in those participants.
  3. Participants who have been regularly using a stable daily ICS or an ICS/LABA regimen (including a stable ICS dose), with allowed ICS doses, for at least 8 weeks prior to Visit 1.
  4. ACQ-7 total score ≥ 1.5 at Visits 1 and 4.
  5. A pre-bronchodilator/pre-dose FEV1 < 90% predicted normal value at Visits 1, 2, and 3 and a pre-dose FEV1 of 50% to 90% at Visit 4 (pre-randomization).
  6. Reversibility to albuterol, defined as a post-albuterol increase in FEV1 of ≥ 12% and ≥ 200 mL for participants ≥ 18 years of age OR a post-albuterol increase in FEV1 of ≥ 12% for participants 12 to < 18 years of age either in the 12 months prior to Visit 1 or at Visit 2 or Visit 3, if repeat testing is necessary.
  7. A pre-bronchodilator/pre-dose FEV1 at Visits 2, 3, and 4 that has not changed 20% or more (increase or decrease) from the pre-bronchodilator/pre-dose FEV1 recorded at the previous visit.
  8. Asthma stability during run-in based on Investigator discretion using the symptom worsening assessment defined in Section as a guideline.
  9. Willing and, in the opinion of the Investigator, able to adjust current asthma therapy, as required by the protocol.
  10. Demonstrate acceptable MDI administration technique.
  11. eDiary compliance ≥ 70% during screening, defined as completing the daily eDiary and answering "Yes" to taking 2 puffs of run-in BD MDI for any 10 mornings and 10 evenings in the last 14 days prior to randomization.

Exclusion criteria

  1. Life-threatening asthma as defined as a history of significant asthma episode(s) requiring intubation associated with hypercapnia, respiratory arrest, hypoxic seizures, or asthma related syncopal episode(s).
  2. Any respiratory infection or asthma exacerbation treated with systemic corticosteroids and/or additional ICS treatment in the 8 weeks prior to Visit 1 and throughout the Screening Period.
  3. Hospitalization for asthma within 8 weeks of Visit 1.
  4. Historical or current evidence of a clinically significant disease including, but not limited to: cardiovascular, hepatic, renal, hematological, neurological, endocrine, gastrointestinal, or pulmonary (eg, active tuberculosis, bronchiectasis, pulmonary eosinophilic syndromes, and COPD). Significant is defined as any disease that, in the opinion of the Investigator, would put the safety of the participant at risk through participation, or that could affect the efficacy or safety analysis.
  5. Known history of drug or alcohol abuse within 12 months of Visit 1.
  6. Unresectable cancer that has not been in complete remission for at least 5 years prior to Visit 1. Note: Squamous cell and basal cell carcinomas of the skin are not exclusionary.
  7. Participation in another clinical study with a study intervention administered in the last 30 days or 5 half-lives, whichever is longer. Any other study intervention that is not identified in this protocol is prohibited for use during study duration.
  8. Previous or current randomization into studies within the AEROSPHERE program including KALOS, LOGOS, VATHOS, LITHOS, or any glycopyrronium studies (PT001).
  9. Use of a nebulizer or a home nebulizer for receiving asthma medications. Note: Acute use of a nebulizer for an asthma exacerbation during hospitalization is allowed as long as there is no occurrence within 8 weeks of Visit 1.
  10. Do not meet the stable dosing period prior to Visit 1 or unable to abstain from protocol-defined prohibited medications during Screening and Treatment Periods.
  11. Receipt of COVID-19 vaccine (regardless of vaccine delivery platform, eg, vector, lipid nanoparticle) ≤7 days prior to Visit 1 (from last vaccination or booster dose).
  12. Participants with known hypersensitivity to beta2-agonists, corticosteroids, or any component of the MDI.
  13. Any clinically relevant abnormal findings in physical examination, clinical chemistry, hematology, vital signs, or ECG, which in the opinion of the Investigator, may put the participant at risk because of his/her participation in the study.
  14. Current smokers, former smokers with > 10 pack-years history, or former smokers who stopped smoking < 6 months prior to Visit 1 (including all forms of tobacco, e-cigarettes or other vaping devices, and marijuana).
  15. Planned hospitalization during the study.
  16. Involvement in the planning and/or conduct of the study (applies to both AstraZeneca staff and/or staff at the study site).
  17. Study Investigators, sub-Investigators, coordinators, and their employees or immediate family members.
  18. Judgment by the Investigator that the participant is unlikely to comply with study procedures, restrictions and requirements.
  19. For women only - currently pregnant (confirmed with positive highly sensitive urine pregnancy test), breast-feeding, or planned pregnancy during the study or not using acceptable contraception measures, as judged by the Investigator.

Trial design

Primary purpose




Interventional model

Parallel Assignment


Quadruple Blind

340 participants in 2 patient groups

BFF MDI 160/9.6 μg BID (320/19.2μg/day)
Experimental group
Budesonide/ Formoterol Fumarate (BFF) metered-dose inhaler (MDI), BDI (320/19.2μg/day)
Drug: BFF MDI 160/9.6 μg BID (320/19.2μg/day)
BD MDI 160 μg BID (320 μg/day)
Active Comparator group
Budesonide (BD) metered-dose inhaler (MDI), 160 μg BID (320 μg/day)
Drug: BD MDI 160 μg BID (320 μg/day)

Trial contacts and locations



Central trial contact

AstraZeneca Clinical Study Information Center

Data sourced from

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