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GSK and Theravance expand COPD programme

27th February 2008

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Theravance have announced the expansion of their Horizon programme which seeks to develop a next-generation combination treatment for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD).

Both companies have confirmed the initiation of a phase 2b study investigating the use of a lead long-acting beta agonist (LABA) GW642444 (?444) with the first patient already enrolled.

This latest study arrives following four large phase 2b asthma dose-optimisation studies; one with ‘444 and three with their lead inhaled corticosteroid GW685698, which commenced in December 2007.

Darrell Baker, from the SVP Respiratory Medicines Development Centre, outlined a considerable unmet need for once-daily treatment for asthma and COPD.

“We believe that this is an important milestone within the Horizon programme and we eagerly await results from the ongoing asthma and now COPD studies that will help guide future development of these important assets.”

Theravance’s chief executive officer Rick E Winningham expressed his delight with the launch of the new phase 2B study, confirming that the trial brought the companies closer to their goal of bringing new treatment options for asthma and COPD.

Also this month, GSK has seen Volibris (ambrisentan) receive a positive opinion from the European Committee for Human Medicinal Products for the treatment of patients with the class II and III pulmonary arterial hypertension.

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