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FDA approves Boehringer Ingelheim lung disease drug

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Thursday it has approved Boehringer Ingelheim's drug to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an umbrella term that includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

The drug, Striverdi Respimat, known also as olodaterol, is one of a class of drugs known as long-acting beta-adrenergic agonists (LABAs) that relax airways in the lungs to ease wheezing, cough and shortness of breath.

The drug will carry a boxed warning that LABAs can increase the risk of asthma-related death. The drug is not approved to treat asthma. COPD, which is usually caused by smoking, is the third leading cause of death in the United States.

(Reporting by Toni Clarke; Editing by Bill Trott)

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