News Release
A grayscale photo of a woman with a tissue to her nose, which is highlighted in red to represent the sinuses.

PHILADELPHIA – An exhalation delivery system that uses a patient’s own breath to carry the anti-inflammatory compound fluticasone (EDS-FLU) directly to the sinuses reduced chronic sinus infection (sinusitis) symptoms and decreased aggravations and infections associated with chronic inflammation of the sinus by more than 50 percent, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania reported.

The randomized, international clinical trials (NCT03781804 and NCT03960580), published today in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, compared EDS-FLU to a placebo in more than 500 adults with chronic rhinosinusitis with or without nasal polyps. Patients used either EDS-FLU or a placebo twice daily for 24 weeks. EDS-FLU works through a patient exhaling into the device to send the medication deep into the far reaches of their sinus cavities, where the topical medication is most effective. Compared to a placebo, sinus symptom scores and CT scan results were significantly improved. Symptoms of nasal congestion, nasal discharge, facial pain/pressure, and loss of smell improved dramatically with EDS-FLU compared to placebo, as measured by the sinonasal outcome test-22, a standardized scoring measure for sinonasal symptoms.

“Chronic sinusitis affects as much of 10 percent of the United States population, and can make breathing uncomfortable and negatively impact a person’s daily life,” said lead author James N. Palmer, MD, the David W. Kennedy, MD Endowed Professor of Otorhinolaryngology and director of Rhinology at Penn Medicine. “These findings provide strong evidence for an effective, non-invasive treatment option for people who continue to experience symptoms after over-the-counter medications have failed.”

Millions of Americans experience the symptoms of chronic sinus infections and inflammation, a largely inflammatory condition that causes nasal congestion, sinus pressure, and pain, when the sinus membranes are inflamed for long periods of time. Although over-the-counter nasal sprays offer marginal relief, no FDA-approved medication exists for the most common form of the condition, chronic rhinosinusitis without nasal polyps, known as “chronic sinusitis.”

While some nasal sprays may offer some symptom relief, patients who were using a standard-delivery nasal spray before study enrollment still reported similar improvements in symptoms compared to others in the study. These are the first placebo-controlled clinical trials to show that a medication reduces subjective symptoms and objective measures of sinus disease for patients with chronic sinusitis, both with and without polyps. Currently, patients whose symptoms are not resolved by over-the-counter nasal sprays or other medications, have limited options for relief, including antibiotics, surgery, or—for patients with nasal polyps—lifelong biologic therapies.

EDS-FLU was determined to be as safe as standard over the counter nasal sprays.

The study was funded by OptiNose US, Inc., and the company has submitted a new drug application to the FDA for EDS-FLU for chronic rhinosinusitis without nasal polyps based on these study results.

Editor’s note: Palmer chaired the steering committee for the studies, serves a consultant for OptiNose, and holds Optinose stock.


Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, excellence in patient care, and community service. The organization consists of the University of Pennsylvania Health System and Penn’s Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine, founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school.

The Perelman School of Medicine is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $550 million awarded in the 2022 fiscal year. Home to a proud history of “firsts” in medicine, Penn Medicine teams have pioneered discoveries and innovations that have shaped modern medicine, including recent breakthroughs such as CAR T cell therapy for cancer and the mRNA technology used in COVID-19 vaccines.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s patient care facilities stretch from the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania to the New Jersey shore. These include the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Chester County Hospital, Lancaster General Health, Penn Medicine Princeton Health, and Pennsylvania Hospital—the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional facilities and enterprises include Good Shepherd Penn Partners, Penn Medicine at Home, Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital, and Princeton House Behavioral Health, among others.

Penn Medicine is an $11.1 billion enterprise powered by more than 49,000 talented faculty and staff.

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