The World Health Organisation (WHO) has described Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) as a global epidemic; an estimated 210 million people have COPD worldwide and more than 3 million people died of the condition in 2005, which is equal to 5% of all deaths globally that year. Total deaths from COPD are projected to increase by more than 30% in the next 10 years without interventions to cut risks, particularly exposure to tobacco smoke.
The most common symptoms of COPD are breathlessness (or a "need for air"), abnormal sputum (a mix of saliva and mucus in the airway), and a chronic cough. Daily activities, such as walking up a short flight of stairs or carrying a suitcase, can become very difficult as the condition gradually worsens. There are significant unmet needs in the treatment of COPD including limited therapeutic options to improve lung function and control exacerbations.